My diabetes travel supplies

December 18, 2009

Yesterday I was packing my diabetes supplies for an upcoming international trip, and though it may be useful to share some insights about what I’m packing. This is my first big trip since I’m on the pump, and must admit that my first impression is that there us a lot more “stuff” I need to carry with me compared with my last trip on injections. My kit looks like this:

Here is the list of what I’m bringing with me:

  • 2 boxes of Paradigm Quicksets (20 sets total)
  • 2 boxes of Paradigm reservoirs (20 in total)
  • 4 boxes of test strips for my Freestyle Lite(400 strips total)
  • Spare Medtronic pump
  • Portable sharps container
  • 3 vials of NovoRapid/Novolog (10ml each)
  • A few lancets
  • 5 syringes (in case things o wrong)
  • 3 AAA bateries + coin (for the pump)
  • Spare Freestyle Lite
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Ketone strips
  • Quickserter
  • Frio bag (to keep the insulin

Overall, my diabetes supplies will take about half of the space on my carry-on, and believe me, I want this stuff with me at all times. The last thing I want is for my diabetes supplies to be lost in one of the many connections I need to take,  so puting it in checked luggage is not going to be an option.

It’s probably also worth mentioning (you probably noticed in the list above) that I’m taking a second insulin pump with me. Medtronic has a program where you can get a spare pump when you are traveling. It’s probably not necesary if your destination is in a country where Medtronic has a significant presence. However if your trip includes more obscure places I highly recommend you consider borrowing a backup. My backup pump is Medtronic 515, a bit older than my current Medtronic 522, but considering is just a backup, it should be more than adequate. Kudos to Medtronic for puting this program in in place here in Australia.



The latest innovation on the insulin market

December 8, 2009

Today I received a press release from Lilly about their latest innovation on insulin… 3ml vials… yep… I’m not kidding…

Over the last few years, Lilly has fell behind in the area of type 1 diabetes care. After the introduction of Humalog in 1996 we are yet to see any new significant advancements from the American giant.

The last few attempts have been really disappointing. First, the introduction of the Kwikpen, which although interetsing, only replicates what NovoNordisk and Sanofi-Aventis had already done with their isulins.

And then there was the issue with the discontinuation of Ultralente. Lilly discontinued four of their very old products because there was not enough demand for them anymore. However, they did not replace them with newer products. One can only speculate on whether this was triggered by the success of what is possibly the biggest insulin seller of all times… Lantus.

It’s always sad to see reduction of competition on the diabetes market, because competition is a key driver for innovation, better products and ultimately better care.  Lilly’s position is only a confirmation of the sad reality of diabetes drugs… it’s about business.