Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Beauty & Health

The Facts About Insulin Pens

Diabetes management requires insulin shots throughout the day. Therefore, delivery systems such as insulin pens make it easier to administer insulin shots. If you use a syringe and vial for insulin delivery, switching to these devices might enhance your compliance.

These devices are increasingly growing in popularity because they permit insulin delivery in a more simple, precise, and convenient manner than the syringe and vial method. Here’s how it works.


Numerous brands of insulin models exist and most fall into two distinct groups: reusable and disposable.

Disposable pen

This comprises a prefilled cartridge and once used, it’s disposed of.


This comprises a replaceable cartridge and once empty, you can discard the cartridge and put a new one. You must use a new disposable needle each time you inject insulin. With appropriate care, reusable pens can last several years.

How they Work

These devices deliver from .5 to 80 units of insulin at a time. Insulin delivery can occur in increments of one unit, one-half unit, or two units. The incremental amount and maximum dose differ among pens. The amount of insulin varies in the cartridges as well.

The pen you use depends on the kind of insulin you need, the units you typically use per shot, and the accessible pens for that kind of insulin. The needles on these devices come in various thicknesses and lengths, and most fit on the available pens.


Similar to insulin vials, insulin pens don’t need regular refrigeration once you’ve opened them. Insulin pens only need refrigeration before their initial use. After the initial use, just keep the pen in a room-temperature setting and out of direct sunlight.


Pens usually cost more than vials/syringes. However, when it comes to total healthcare expenses, selecting pens over syringes might save you money. They’re usually available in packs so you can’t purchase one at a time. Depending on the pharmacy and insurance, a box of five Humalog KwikPens could cost more than $500. Every pen comprises 3mLof insulin.

Does Medicare cover Insulin Pens?

Medicare Part B does not cover insulin pens. However, there are other options available. For people with diabetes, Medicare Part B covers blood glucose monitors, test strips, lancet devices and lancets. Glucose management solutions are covered whether someone uses insulin or not. Medical nutrition therapy and a number of hours for diabetes self-management training are also covered. Medicare Part B also covers insulin pumps and pump supplies as well as the insulin used specifically in the pump, under certain circumstances.

Under Medicare Part B, those with diabetes who are on insulin may get up to 300 test strips and 300 lancets every three months and those who have diabetes but don’t use insulin may get up to 100 test strips and 100 lancets every three months. You may be able to get more if your doctor states it is medically necessary and documents it.

Insulin pens are important devices for persons with diabetes Type 1 and it’s vital you follow instructions because they differ slightly in how they’re used.