Last fall, Sanofi Diabetes alerted the DOC of a shortage of Apidra Solostar pens due to a technical problem in the manufacturing of the device that carries the insulin. At that time, the estimated return of the Solostar pen was April 2012. Sanofi was quick to offer free vials to those people who use Apidra Solostar pens.
As it stands now, Sanofi estimates the pens to return to the market in the second quarter of 2012. Here's an excerpt from the Apidra website:
"This update provides the latest estimated timing for the reintroduction of Apidra® SoloSTAR® pens in the United States.
The current shortage of Apidra® SoloSTAR® pens is due to a technical incident that occurred at the Sanofi manufacturing site in Frankfurt, Germany, which has led to a temporary interruption in production. In compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices, Sanofi is currently making every effort to resolve the issue. Following stringent quality tests, we expect to achieve normal supply levels by the second quarter of 2012.
All Apidra® SoloSTAR® product currently available is safe to use. No other Sanofi insulin products, eg, Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection) are affected."
Sanofi is going to continue offering free vials of Apidra until the end of 2012 and will expand the offer to include the Solostar pen once it is available. If you are interested in trying Apidra, the good news is this offer is available for both existing users and new users.
Full disclosure: I am a consultant for Sanofi Diabetes since 2011, and have been an avid fan of Apidra since 2008! I'm miserable without my Solostar pen!