Posted by on Friday, 10 January 2014

Lantus 0.5 unit pen at last - Pendiq Intelligent Insulin Pen

Lantus 0.5 unit pen at last - Pendiq

I *love* the DOC.

No really.

I absolutely love, love, *love* the DOC.

Just a quick glance at Twitter and I can be cheered, encouraged, supported, made to laugh and occasionally brought to tears all at once. Other times you go looking for some lightweight wit and wisdom, or just to see what folks are up to and suddenly discover some weighty new piece of research, campaign to fight for or better still... everyone's favourite diabetes benefit an exciting-sounding new gadget.

Before Artoo became my constant companion a couple of years ago, I wrote quite a few posts about Lantus basal insulin. I spent quite a bit of time trying to wrestle Lantus into submission, and eventually we got to the stage where we muddled along bearably, but it's fair to say that one of my main motivators for starting pump therapy was to get 'proper' basal coverage, that accurately reflected the ebb and flow of my body's rhythms over a 24 hour period.

Comparing notes with other users it seems I was not the only person to be frustrated by Sanofi's rather less than enthusiastic approach to insulin delivery. Most of the injection pens that fitted Lantus were, frankly, nasty. And none of them offered doses in increments smaller than 1 unit. This might be OK if you are on higher doses, but many T1s are quite sensitive to insulin. I'm not quite sure how small children cope, for example. The minimum dose adjustment could well be a significant percentage of the total.

The other pen-related problem I had fixed around the same time related to my terrible memory. It may be hard to believe it you do not live with diabetes yourself, but after a few thousand injections they can become so automatic that you barely think about them. Sometimes you have absolutely no idea whether you have injected your dose or not. I changed bolus (mealtime) insulin to Humalog to get hold of a pen with a 'dose memory' the Humapen Memoir so that if I was ever unsure I had some means of checking that didn't involve me having to write something down, which I was just as likely to forget to do... Or possibly even to remember to write it down, but then forget the actual injection. See what I mean about my memory? Hopeless! Sadly the Humapen Memoir has since been taken off the market and it looks like its development has been abandoned. So now the only memory-enabled pen available on prescription in the UK is the NovoPen Echo.


Thanks to a Twitter conversation I chanced upon earlier this week, I now know there is an alternative. And a very interesting alternative it looks to be too.

Enter Pendiq, the Intelligent Insulin Pen

Pendiq is a new breed of injection device from Germany initially launched in 2011 and relaunched in 2012. Such is the ruthless efficiency of German engineering that this pen boasts not just 0.5u accuracy but increments of 0.1u (from 0.5u upwards). Delivery is unlike any other pen I am aware of - dial up the dose on the display, press the button and a precision motor delivers the insulin at 2/u per second. The pen stores and displays around 2 months worth of injection doses and timings on an LCD screen and the website boasts all sorts of download opportunities and compatibility with logging software such as SiDiary. The battery is rechargeable and the device seems to be compatible with 'standard' insulin pen needles. The Pendiq is compatible with Lilly and Sanofi-Aventis insulins, which means that both Lantus and Humalog doses are now available on MDI in 0.1u dose increments. Heck you can even choose from five funky colours!

Unfortunately there is a snag. Isn't there always? It seems the Pendiq is not currently available on prescription in the UK. It looks like you can buy it via the website, but with the shipping/delivery it will set you back almost €185 (around £150). So not cheap... by any means. You would also probably be wise to speak to your DSN/hospital/clinic to get there guidance if you were tempted to spring for one before you part with any cash.

If you'd like more information, visit

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