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Sanofi-aventis withdraws some insulin pens

Sanofi-aventis is reducing its range of insulin pens in December 2011 to the following two: SoloSTAR (pre-filled) and ClikSTAR (re-usable). The others, including Opticlik, Optiset, Optipen Pro 1, Autopen 24*, will be discontinued.

Although there is nothing wrong with the older pens, they are being discontinued following guidance from the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) on the reduction of insulin-related errors. Having fewer pens will reduce the possibility of mistakes happening.

People with diabetes who take insulin using one of the pens that will be discontinued can switch to using the available pens without changing their insulin as all the preparations will be available in the SoloSTAR and ClikSTAR devices. The needles recommended for use with the new pens are also unchanged from the older devices.

No insulins being withdrawn

Cathy Moulton, Clinical Advisor at Diabetes UK, said: "We are keen to ensure that people with diabetes are aware that only two sanofi-aventis pen devices, SoloSTAR and ClikSTAR, will be available for injecting insulin from December 2011 and all older pen devices will be withdrawn.

"Diabetes UK has been consulted about this decision and would like to reassure people with diabetes thatare being withdrawn and that sanofi-aventis is ensuring that only updated pen devices are available in a bid to improve safety. All healthcare teams have been notified of the withdrawals and so will be able to help with any changes needed. We would advise anyone who has concerns to contact the sanofi-aventis 24 hour helpline on 0845 6066887 on how best to make any adjustments."

*However Autopen 24 will still be distributed by Owen Mumford, who manufactures the pen. There is no guidance from NPSA that it should be discontinued, it will continue to be available either to purchase directly from Owen Mumford or by prescription from your healthcare professional team. It will no longer be given away by sanofi-aventis.

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