We just finished the dreaded back-and-forth with the CDE trying to get Novolog PenFills. She had written a prescription for vials despite clear written instructions from us otherwise, and then became frustrated when when we insisted on PenFills. Here was Eric’s reasoning:
Reason #1: The PenFill cartridges provide 50% more insulin for the same price.
Novolog vial is 10mL.
Novolog PenFill cartridges are 3mL and come 5 to a package so 15mL.
They cost the same.
Reason #2: The amount of insulin held in the vial is awkward and leads to waste.
Also, the OmniPod holds 1.5mL, so 1 box of 5 PenFill cartridges will fill 10 OmniPods (each Pod takes 150mL).
1 vial will fill only 6 OmniPods and then I end up with 100mL which isn’t enough to fill an OmniPod.
Reason #3: Less time outside of the fridge for travelers.
Also, because I travel all the time, having insulin in smaller containers is good. Imagine a 1 week trip. With the PenFill cartridges I can take 2 (which is enough for 4 Omnipods - 3 for use and 1 backup). The other 3 can remain safely in the refrigerator. Now, if I have a vial, I have to take TWO of them (one is the primary, and the other is the backup in case the first one is dropped). I’m exposing 12 pods worth of insulin to travel temperature (outside of a fridge).
Imagine a 2-day trip. I could take 2 Penfills (one for use, one for backup). Or I could take 2 Vials (one for use, one for backup). In this case, I’m exposing a LOT of insulin to non-fridge temperatures.
Reason #4: They are glass.
The vials are prone to breaking if dropped. The Penfill cartridges are less likely to break, and even if they do, they contain less insulin so the loss is less painful.
I find the cartridges are less expensive, less risky, and more convenient.
I think he made a good case and we’ve been approved for a year’s worth of PenFills. Yay!