Category Archives: Diabetes
Faulty diabetes pens in recall
Tuesday, 29 October 2013
People with diabetes or their carers are being asked to check their insulin pens or pen cartridges after a manufacturing fault has resulted in a precautionary recall across Europe of 33 specific batches of insulin pens and cartridges.
The manufacturing problem concerns a fault in the filling of the cartridges, which resulted in some batches of pens and cartridges containing too much or too little insulin.
In a medicines alert, The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the affected products are the NovoMix 30 Flexpen 100U/ml pre-filled pen and the NovoMix 30 Penfill 100U/ml cartridge.
The MHRA said that last year alone, just over one million (1,063,599) prescriptions in England were dispensed for these insulin pens and cartridges. Information from the manufacturer shows that only around 0.14 per cent of the 3.3 million cartridges that are sold across Europe are likely to be affected by the manufacturing problem. Therefore, the safety risk to people with diabetes in the UK is likely to be limited to a small number of people.
“Dogs could be trained to warn diabetic patients when their blood sugar levels are about to become low,” The Daily Telegraph reports.
Hypoglycaemia is potentially serious and if left untreated could result in coma.
During interviews the owners reported the dogs had improved their lives and helped with their diabetes. Blood test results confirmed the perception that the dogs could detect glucose levels outside of a desired range in many cases, and that having a dog made the owner more likely to remain in a desired range.
According to a new report, 39 per cent of people with diabetes had either been refused a blood test strip or had their prescription restricted.
Self-monitoring of blood glucose levels is essential for people with type 1 diabetes and for many with the more common type 2 diabetes, so they can adjust their treatment levels.
Failure to do so can lead to conditions such as hypoglycaemia and ketoacidosis, and if left unmanaged in the long-term can result in serious complications that can require amputations, or cause blindness or stroke.
Blood monitoring and treatment adjustment is also necessary for many people with diabetes to go about everyday activities, such as eating and exercising, safely.
NHS England said that all doctors and pharmacists had been told not to restrict access to testing strips. However, many of the respondents to Diabetes’ UK survey, which consulted 2,000 people with diabetes, said that their GP had told them restrictions were in place because of policies issued by local health managers.
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said that restricting access was not only causing distress, but would also create a problem for the NHS in the long term, as complications caused by lack of monitoring mounted up. Diabetes already costs the NHS around £10bn annually.