- Ability to self inject using the device
- Thoughts about a devices environmental impact
- Type of insulin
- Feel of the device
- Available fridge space
- Special features of the device
- Travel requirements.
In Australia, the majority of people give their insulin using disposable pens, which, once empty, contributes a significant amount of rubbish to landfill. Is it time the diabetes community improves its environmental report card by getting more people with diabetes to switch to a more environmentally friendly insulin delivery device? The three insulin companies, Lily, Novo Nordisk and sanofi-aventis, all have reusable cartridge pens available for Australians to use as well as their disposable counterparts. They use pre-filled cartridges, containing 300 units of insulin, and are available for most insulin options. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) provides the equivalent amount of insulin when dispensed as disposable pens or re-usable cartridges. Unfortunately many doctors only prescribe disposable pens and don’t give people with diabetes the option of the re-usable cartridge pen. I have people with diabetes asking me about the environmental impact of their disposable pens and are surprised when I tell them there is another, more environmentally friendly option they could use to give their insulin. Is it time to take a more environmentally responsible, person centred approach to insulin prescribing? Yes … and the first step is to give people the opportunity to choose the insulin delivery device they want to use by actively involving them in the process of choosing the pen they want to use. A review of a person’s: