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New Delivery System May Change the Age-Old Method of Insulin Delivery

  [ 20 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • September 4, 2002

An easy and accurate insulin injection device is now available in pharmacies nationwide

People with diabetes now have a new way to administer insulin that provides accuracy, convenience and ease of use. The prefilled disposable insulin doser, Novolin® InnoLet® human insulin (rDNA origin) is designed to overcome the barriers to accurate dosing that are commonly associated with the vial and syringe method of insulin delivery, which is currently used by the majority of people in the United States taking insulin.

InnoLet®, which was developed and is marketed by Novo Nordisk, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2001 and is now available in pharmacies nationwide.

"The complicated nature of handling and accurately dosing with a vial and syringe, as well as incorrect administration and injection techniques, are among the factors that impact the ability of people with diabetes to correctly self-administer insulin," said Dr. Sherwyn Schwartz, endocrinologist of the Diabetes & Glandular Disease Clinic, San Antonio, Texas. "InnoLet® was designed with patients to overcome these barriers and features a number of innovations that make the device easy to read, hold and use," added Dr. Schwartz.

The dosing dial of InnoLet® -- which resembles a kitchen timer -- has large, easy-to-read numbers in one-unit increments and clicks audibly at each dosage level, making it easier to help select the correct dose.

The unique, reversible dose mechanism of the device allows patients to easily correct a misdialed dose without wasting insulin. In addition, the individual cannot set the dial to a dosage greater than the quantity of insulin remaining in the cartridge, thereby preventing under-dosing. InnoLet® is designed to rest securely against the skin, to help minimize tremor or movement at the needle tip, and to help prevent the person from injecting too deeply.

"I believe InnoLet® may help my patients be more compliant with their treatment because it is easy and convenient to use," said Dr. Schwartz.

In a clinical study, 95 percent of participants rated InnoLet® as "very easy" or "easy" to use. According to a recent study, 84 percent of people with type 2 diabetes that were new to insulin were able to set and dispense the correct dose using InnoLet® without any prior instruction. The average time to set and dispense the correct dose took 26 seconds with InnoLet®, as compared to other insulin injection devices, which could take up to 65 seconds.

InnoLet® is available without prescription with both Novolin® 70/30 (70% NPH, Human Insulin Isophane Suspension & 30% Regular Human Insulin Injection [rDNA origin]) and Novolin® N (NPH, Human Insulin Isophane Suspension [rDNA origin]), Novo Nordisk's premixed and long-acting human insulin formulations.

Any change in insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision.

InnoLet® is made of plastic that can be sent to landfills or incinerated safely.

About Diabetes
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes is unknown, although both genetics and environmental factors, such as obesity and lack of exercise, appear to play roles.

There are an estimated 17 million people in the United States who have diabetes. While over 11 million people have been diagnosed, nearly six million people are not aware that they have the disease. Diabetes has a major impact on the lives of patients and their families and, if uncontrolled, can lead to blindness, kidney failure, lower limb amputation and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and contributed to approximately 210,000 deaths in 1999.

Of those who have diabetes in the United States, 90 to 95 percent have type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes is nearing epidemic proportions, due to an increased number of older Americans, a greater prevalence of obesity and sedentary lifestyles. Treatment for type 2 diabetes includes diet, exercise, blood glucose testing and, in most cases, oral medication and/or insulin. Approximately 40 percent of people with type 2 diabetes require insulin injections. As a result of the dramatic increase in the incidence of diabetes, insulin use is projected to rise in the United States by 26 percent by 2006.

About Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk is a focused healthcare company. With the broadest diabetes product portfolio in the industry, including the most advanced products within the area of insulin delivery systems, Novo Nordisk is the world leader in diabetes care. In addition, Novo Nordisk has a leading position within areas such as hemostasis management, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services that make a significant difference to patients, the medical profession and society. With headquarters in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 17,500 people in 68 countries and markets its products in 179 countries.

Novo Nordisk's B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen and London. Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'NVO'.

Full prescribing information for Novolin® 70/30 InnoLet® and Novolin® N InnoLet® is available by contacting the manufacturer or by visiting

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