Becton Dickinson launched a new syringe specifically for use with Eli Lilly’s concentrated insulin, which is prescribed for diabetics who need to inject higher doses of insulin daily. Previously, patients and physicians had to make do with traditional insulin syringes, which could lead to dosing errors.
Eli Lilly’s Humulin R U-500 insulin contains five times as much insulin in 1 mL than does standard U-100 insulin. It is indicated to address high blood sugar levels in diabetics who are insulin resistant and need to inject more than 200 units of insulin per day. Because their bodies fail to respond to insulin correctly, these patients need higher doses to manage their disease.
The FDA green-lighted the BD U-500 Insulin Syringe in July, while Lilly picked up FDA approval for its Humulin R U-500 KwikPen, a prefilled insulin injector, in January this year. The concentrated insulin had been on the market without a dedicated syringe since 1994. Using a standard syringe or a tuberculin syringe required doctors and patients to calculate dose conversions to arrive at the appropriate dose of Humulin R U-500. Miscalculations could result in incorrect dosage and hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia or death.
"People with diabetes and severe insulin resistance who have become poorly responsive to the effects of insulin may require much higher insulin doses to help keep their blood sugar levels on target,” said Dr. Jeffrey Jackson, medical fellow, U.S. medical affairs at Lilly Diabetes, in a statement. “At Lilly, we recognize that people with diabetes have diverse needs and that their insulin delivery devices should reflect their individual needs, and we're pleased to partner with BD to provide a dedicated U-500 insulin syringe."
The BD U-500 syringe has the shortest insulin syringe needle available to facilitate the delivery of insulin just below the skin. It will be released with new packaging and instructions to reflect that patients and physicians no longer need to convert their insulin dose.