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Smaller size vial of Humalog for hospitals and possibly patients

Posted Mar 15 2010 9:49am

In January Eli Lilly, maker of Humalog rapid-acting insulin, began supplying hospitals with a smaller size vial - 3 ml instead of 5 ml

I got a flier about it because I'm a member of the Association of Diabetes Educators. My curiosity was peaked to know if there's now a smaller size available for patients?

In truth, I don't use Humalog anymore. I switched to Apidra about a year ago. I find Apidra works a little faster for me and this means I can also use a little less. Of course, since I eat a low-carb diet, I don't use much mealtime insulin anyway. I use about three units to cover my morning oatmeal (my big carb meal) and then about 1 unit for lunch and 1 for dinner. My carbs in those meals being vegetables and beans.

This means at the end of every month, when I have to start a new bottle of rapid-acting insulin, I have to throw the one I've been using away - and it's still 4/5 full. 

So I called Lilly and asked if a patient could buy the smaller size vial. I was told a patient could ask their pharmacist to check with his or her supplier whether they could get it. 

Not a wholly satisfying answer, but if you, like me, use very little mealtime insulin, and you use Humalog, you may want to check if you can get less.

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