Are All Insulin Pens Created Equal?

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Nine percent of Americans, about 30 million people, have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About a fourth of them do not even know they have diabetes. Approximately 1.5 million people in the country are diagnosed with it each year.

Globally, between 400 million and 500 million people carry the disease, according to the CDC, and the number is increasing. In the United States, diabetes disproportionately affects minorities and is the sixth leading cause of disease-related death, claiming more than 80,000 people annually.

Some with Type 2 diabetes can reach their target blood sugar levels through diet and exercise. Others, however, may require a lifetime of doctor-prescribed, self-administered treatment such as insulin therapy. For decades in the 20th century, the only way to self-administer insulin was by traditional vial-and-syringe injections, which is still the most common form of delivery. About 20 years ago, however, drug companies began developing insulin pens, and today they are a popular (though more costly) alternative.

24/7 Wall St. examined news articles, product description documents from insulin pen manufacturers, and information provided by independent advocacy groups and government health agencies to create a list of 10 factors to consider before buying an insulin pen.

It is important to note that this list is to provide information and should not be used to self-diagnose dosages or insulin treatments. Always consult with your doctor before considering any changes to an existing regimen.

Click here to see if all insulin pens are created equal.