Diabetes advocates fighting for patient ability to access medical supplies
"We believe there are benefits for both patients and the health system if insulin pens are placed on par with vial and syringe insulin injections in patient-centered formularies," said AAFP Board Chair Dr. Reid Blackwelder.
Blackwelder added that many patients who require insulin to manage their disease had trouble using vial and syringe insulin injections and preferred insulin pens.
"Regrettably, many public and private health care plans have limited patient access to insulin pens on their formularies or (have) eliminated access altogether," Blackwelder said. "For patients who have difficulty with vial and syringe insulin injections, such formulary policies hamper their management of their diabetes, potentially leading to unnecessary complications to the patient and costs to the health care system."
Blackwelder pointed out that the growing tide of diabetes sweeping the nation posed a "significant burden on both our patients and our health care system."
"Pens are easier and more convenient to use," Blackwelder said.
The use of insulin pens also improves adherence to insulin therapy, according to health experts.