The Echo Insulin Pen

Ann Bartlett Health Guide
  • One of the many great things about diabetes today versus diabetes 40 years ago is the choice of insulin available, as well as insulin delivery systems. With faster acting insulin and devices that give you dosing flexibility, people with diabetes are living longer. (Thank you, diabetes innovators, for never giving up!)


    In my eyes, the choice of diabetes products is the most important aspect to managing diabetes because everyone has a slightly different requirement. For example, some people want a basic vial and syringe, while others need a pump for greater dosing flexibility. Throughout my 44 years of living with diabetes, I have certainly taken advantage of all the choices out there and I’m grateful to be able to say that!

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    In January, Novo Nordisk released a new half unit pen called the Echo. Novo has been leading the charge on half unit dosing for many years, but the Echo is an improvement from their old pen. In addition to giving half unit dosing, the Echo has a memory function embedded in the cap, which allows users to see when the last dose of insulin was given. They also made an array of color pens that will be helpful to remind us which pen is rapid acting and which is basal insulin. 



    I’m one of those people who did not do well on the pump, but I loved the dosing flexibly that it offered. I’ve never understood why insulin pens only offered 1-unit increments and companies expected that one size fits all, so the Echo is a good thing, but I have one gripe: they market it for children. You can get cool colors, or with kid stuff printed all over the pen, which is great for kids, but at the end of the day, it’s insulin for all of us… isn’t it? 


    In fact, I hope manufacturers understand that dosing is as essential to management as insulin. Part of diabetes and weight issues have to do with those pesky lows and subsequent snacks to curb the lows that we get from over-bolused insulin injections, but I also fall into a tough space because my basal test showed that I did better on a half unit dose.   


    In the future I hope all insulin pen manufacturers will consider making basal insulin with half unit increments. We don’t have a choice about having diabetes, but we should have flexibility in choosing which device delivery works best for us. 

Published On: March 04, 2014