Saturday, February 24, 2007

Press Release for Lilly Humapen Memoir

As my readers know, I first alerted them to the Lilly Humapen Memoir in my posting last June from the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions in Washington, DC. I subsequently advised that it would be made available to American and Canadian consumers as of February 1, 2007 in a more recent post. As I noted in a follow-up, Lilly's PR agency contacted me with some additional information and I wanted to pass that information along.

As the headline link indicates, the official announcement on the new Humapen Memoir from Eli Lilly and Company was made this week. According to the The Associated Press, Lilly reportedly spent 7 years developing the pen in partnership with Battelle Medical Device Solutions of Columbus, Ohio. The Indianapolis Star reports that the pen is being manufactured in Clinton, Massachusetts. Its one of three new pen devices that Lilly plans to introduce this year as part of a strategy to increase demand for Humalog, according to Lehman Brothers analyst Tony Butler.

Lilly's PR agency noted that Lilly conducted a national survey of 1,000 insulin users, which confirmed that there is great deal of patient interest in features that could potentially help people better manage their condition. Among the notable findings of that research was the fact that two-thirds surveyed would be interested in using a pen with memory (apparently, nearly 1 in 3 reported forgetting whether they took their insulin at least once a month). Also, 38% were most interested in using the memory function to compare doses to food; and nearly half (44%) of respondents told them that a stylish-looking pen would make them feel more comfortable injecting insulin in a public place or around family and friends.

In the Associated Press story about the Memoir pen that ran on Friday, it was reported that the new insulin pen will carry a price tag of $100 U.S., easily making it the most costly pen on the market. However, to offset the sticker shock, Lilly is reportedly planning to offer coupons that let patients buy the new pens for $45. Pen devices are widely used throughout Europe, but have been slower to catch on in the U.S., perhaps because pump therapy is more popular here.


As my previous posts suggested, my initial reaction was that the pen had some nice features, but the fact is that many type 1 patients are sensitive to even small changes in dosage, so I felt it was a mistake to enable dosages in 1 unit increments only. However, as I previously noted, another version of the pen will be available in the near future, apparently in April, according to the press. I have been informed that the version that enables 1/2 unit dosages will be known as the HumaPen Luxura HD (which is the light-colored pen pictured above according to Lilly's website in Finland, although my sources indicate that the Memoir will be available in maroon-color, while the Luxura pen sold in the U.S. will be teal/green-color).

"We're not discussing specific plans for Luxura HD at this time," said Scott MacGregor, a Communications Associate for Eli Lilly and Company, "but we do hope to introduce it to patients broadly at the appropriate time. Luxura HD is a cousin of a Lilly pen currently on the market in some European countries, simply called Luxura."

However, Lilly's PR agency has indicated that the Luxura pen will not have the 16 dosage memory feature. Lets hope the cost is less than $100!

8 comments:

Randy B said...

Here's a link to another story....

http://www.prnewswire.com/broadcast/26898/consumer.shtml

I'm still disappointed though; its looks like the Luxura HD will not have the memory feature, just the half-unit capability.

BetterCell said...

It still would be better if the Lilly Humapen Memoir had battery replacements rather than a three year toss of the whole pen. As we both know, the money making for Lilly is in the insulin cartridges rather than the pen.

Scott said...

Thanks for the article, Randy, although if I understand correctly, the Humapen Luxura has the same 16-dose memory as the Memoir, but the key difference is that it will enable 1/2 unit dosage increments. I agree with Barry, especially given the price tag of the device. Also, given the savings Lilly will achieve from not distributing prefilled pen devices, they may need to revisit the price -- also, most doctors recommend patients hold a back-up device, so they'll need 2.

Anonymous said...

Comment: Lilly doesn't like to talk about it, but the Lilly 3ml cartridge is in fact completely interchangeable with the Diestronic D-Tron 3ml reservoir. These reservoirs can purchased filled with insulin from Lilly or empty as D-Tron pump supplies, so you can load any insulin or insulin mix you want. (Beware, Disetronic has built two pens, the currently for sale uses H-tron reservoirs, and those DO NOT FIT the Humapens, only the D-Tron reservoirs fit the Humapen). Anyone who sells Disetronic (Now Roche Diagnostics) pump supplies will have D-Tron reservoirs.

Scott said...

Thanks for the feedback. Disetronic (now Accu-Chek) supplies, including the empty d-Tron cartridges can be obtained from their online store (website is at http://disetronic-direct.com/). I'll have to try it out and confirm whether it works, but it certainly sounds like it might!

RandyB said...

Scott, here is a link to another article with some quotes from Lilly about the new Humapens.

http://www.in-pharmatechnologist.com/news/ng.asp?n=74537-eli-lilly-memoir-luxura-insulin-diabetes

Davor said...

One word from Europe:
i must disagree about frequent use of Memoir in europe. I am constantly contacting pharmacies in UK, Austria and Slovenia... Only Luxura is available, Memoir not. Exception is in I think Finland, but it cost arround 300€ so just forget it for now...

Anonymous said...

Has anyone yet posted about taking an Humapen Memoir apart to see about replacing the battery? Some enterprising micro-electronic device whiz has had to have looked at this.