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From Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA:

My five year old daughter's insulin prescription was unable to be filled, and we were told by Lilly that the 1.5 ml cartridges of NPH and Regular have been discontinued, although Humalog remains available. Many people use intensive insulin therapy giving multiple injections per day, and my daughter prefers two pen injections versus a mixed syringe. Why is the current status of Humulin N and Humulin R in the 1.5 cartridge being discontinued not being discussed publicly by professionals, organizations, and news sources that speak to daily issues regarding diabetes?


Basically, this seems to be a squabble about whose pen is used, meaning that Novo Nordisk was concerned at the number of people using their pen with Lilly insulin. If you plan to continue using Humulin N you now have to use the Lilly disposable pen.

You can still get Humulin R in a vial form, but if you are giving a short acting insulin at meal time and wish to use a syringe you will again need to use the Lilly disposable pen; but also to change to the faster acting Humalog R.

You need to talk to your diabetes team about this and at the same time you might ask about bedtime Lantus (insulin glargine) instead of the NPH. A final possibility if you really like the Novopen is to switch to their insulins.


Original posting 31 Jul 2002
Posted to Insulin


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