March 18, 2015

Transparency on Insulin %&#%Problems

%&#% = pump

What were you thinking?

In "Experts call for transparency on insulin pump problems" - Kathryn Doyle - Reuters, there is a call for better data on insulin pump errors. It would be easy to read into this that pumps increase risk. I doubt that is the case.  All the data I have seen suggest that people on pumps do better with their diabetes management.

So when talk of Insulin Pump Problems, should be made in the context of insulin. Taking Insulin is risky - Diabetes is a Problem. Pumps are an imperfect but valuable mitigation of diabetes and its risk.

I would hope/think that clear direction on Medical Device Reports (MDR) to FDA and access to those MDRs would be useful in getting the information needed. I ma reasonably confident that pump companies are diligent about MDRs. Yes - Data is useful, so are pumps. Insulin is dangerous and THAT should be kept in mind when talking about pumps. People on pumps do better.

So how about transperencey on insulin problems too?

No throwing the baby out with the bathwater.


  1. Too many problems are ascribed by the manufacturer as user error, yet the pump is a flawed machine. Pumped for 6 years before going back to MDI because I couldn't trust the pump to give me the insulin it said it was delivering. No alarms. Just blood sugars over 400. Manufacturers must be accountable.

  2. I think it's both -- the the insulin itself and the imperfect device infusing the insulin. Of course, you can't have the latter without the former, but so much of it does go back to the manufacturer in just making a safe device and being able to know when something isn't right. I'm glad the FDA is working on rules to clarify and hopefully standardize the MDR process, so that all manufacturers have to report these in the same way and there isn't wiggle room in understanding what is a problem. Hopefully, that comes sooner rather than later and does help more of this data become visible because it's comparing apples and apples.