Insulin pens vs. vials and syringes: the pharmacist's role in individualizing therapy.

Research paper by Amy N AN Honebrink, Chelsea R CR Peters, David R DR Bright

Indexed on: 07 Jul '11Published on: 07 Jul '11Published in: The Consultant pharmacist : the journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists


As pharmacists strive for tighter glucose control in their patients, several considerations exist including the selection of insulin delivery administration methods. Traditionally, insulin administration using vials and syringes has been common, but insulin pens are also a viable option. Insulin pens have been shown to increase patient autonomy, which may impact adherence. Elderly patients, who may suffer from dexterity and visual impairment, have been shown to prefer insulin pens because they are easier to use. Although insulin pens are more expensive per mL, some patients may find an economic advantage with insulin pens based on copays and beyond-use dating. In long-term care settings, the additional cost of insulin pens may be offset by the reduced insulin-administration time. Pharmacists are well suited to advocate for their patients and to help select the insulin administration method that considers individual limitations and fiscal realities, and will best support the patient's disease management.