Abbott Laboratories recently announced that it has received approval from the FDA to market a device called the Humira Pen. The Pen will be available beginning in August. The drug manufacturer developed the pen as an alternative way for patients to administer their medications. According to the Abbott Laboratories website, the Humira Pen is designed to be easy to grasp and operate. It is designed to be convenient for patients who have stiffness or limited function in the hands due to swelling.
Currently, patients take the drug by injecting themselves with a pre-filled syringe. Abbott studied 52 patients who were currently taking Humira this way to determine if the patients preferred one treatment instead of the other. The patients were asked to choose a preferred treatment method based on overall preference, ease of use, convenience, time to administer the injection and pain. Abbott reports that nine out of 10 patients prefer the Humira Pen, which has a needle that is not visible during the injection process.
There was no indication from the press release whether there are differences in the delivery and storage of the medication or differences in cost for the new Pen versus the standard pre-filled syringes. The press release also did not address coverage of the new device by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance carriers.
I have been taking Humira for about nine months, and I will be interested to hear from my rheumatologist at my next visit about her experience with prescribing it and her other patients experiences using it. I find that the injections are painful because the medicine can sting, and I have a difficult time avoiding veins in my hips, thighs and stomach. Sometimes I also have difficulty penetrating my skin with the needle. So if this new device truly will be easier to use and less painful, then I might consider using it. Visit our message board to express your thoughts about this new device.
Published On: July 07, 2006