Assessment by patients with diabetes mellitus of two insulin pen delivery systems versus a vial and syringe

Clin Ther. May-Jun 1998;20(3):486-96. doi: 10.1016/s0149-2918(98)80058-1.


Two multicenter surveys were conducted in a total of 1310 insulin users over a 3-week period. The first survey, in which 803 patients participated, assessed the effects of using the Novolin Prefilled insulin delivery system on lifestyle; compliance with insulin, diet, and exercise regimens; and feelings of well-being compared with the traditional insulin vial and syringe. The second survey, in which 507 patients participated, assessed attitudes and perceptions of the NovoPen 1.5 insulin delivery system compared with the traditional insulin vial and syringe. Both delivery systems are dial-a-dose insulin pens containing a single-use NovoFine 30 insulin needle and are designed to be portable and discreet. Patients using the Novolin Prefilled delivery system completed a three-part questionnaire (two parts at the initial survey visit and the third at the end of 3 weeks); those using the NovoPen 1.5 completed a questionnaire at the end of 3 weeks. Seven hundred twenty-nine (92%) of 793 patients in the Novolin Prefilled group and 482 (98%) of 492 patients in the NovoPen 1.5 group reported that it was easy to use these delivery systems; 672 (85%) of 791 patients reported that they missed no injections while using the Novolin Prefilled system, compared with 566 (72%) of 789 patients using the vial and syringe. With the NovoPen 1.5, 333 (73%) of 456 patients said that the dosing mechanism was more accurate, and 351 (77%) of 456 patients found it easier to comply with their insulin regimen. In both groups, patients reported a strong desire to continue using the insulin pens and a willingness to recommend their use to someone else. Because patients were more physically and psychologically comfortable injecting insulin with the Novolin Prefilled or NovoPen 1.5 system than with an insulin syringe, their overall attitude toward insulin therapy improved, as did their confidence about managing their disease. An improved attitude toward insulin therapy might be expected to lead to better acceptance of and compliance with an insulin regimen.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy*
  • Drug Packaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Syringes


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin