Category Archives: Canadian pharmaceuticals

Fiasp Insulin. The New Kid on the Block

Fiasp Insulin the new kid on the blockIt has been a long  time since the diabetes world has seen a new rapid acting insulin brought to market.  The last one that I can remember was  Apidra released back in 2004.  It is  not surprising  then that the release of Fiasp by NovoNordisk is creating a lot of buzz.  Not to be let out, my son recently began using this insulin. Since Fiasp insulin is the new kid on the block, I thought I would give everyone a brief rundown on the highs and lows associated with it.

What is it?

Fiasp insulin was released by NovoNordisk onto the Canadian market in March of 2017.  Many of us scrambled to get a prescription because it promised better blood glucose levels without pre-bolusing for meals! According to the press release, you can dose up to two minutes before a meal and up to 20 minutes after starting a meal without compromising overall glycemic control or safety!*

How is it different?

A Medscape article states that  Fiasp is  absorbed twice as fast as its counterparts.

It does this with the help of  two excipients–Vitamin B3 is responsible for the increase in the speed of absorption and Amino Acid (L-Arginine)  has been added for extra stability.**

What do users think?

All of this science is great but most people are wondering how well it works in real life settings.  From what I have seen, the bulk of users really like it.  I could only find one person out of about a dozen users who had returned to their old insulin aspart.

When I asked my son for his review I was told “I still have highs. I still have lows BUT if I have a heavy carb  loaded meal, Fiasp kicks butt and I don’t have the same crazy swings that I always did before.” For a 19 year old who can definitely binge on carbs, this is huge.

Other users seem to have  had similar results.

Some people with diabetes found that the insulin peaks were no longer as pronounced.  They had some difficulty battling highs with Fiasp however while others found it perfect for corrections. In fact some people are purchasing Fiasp just for corrections.

Other users explained that the faster insulin action allowed them to more quickly respond to rising blood glucose levels.  This in turn meant resulted in much  tighter control.  The quick action has  also left one user to caution about the timing of any  prebolus.

Most seemed to agree that Fiasp insulin resulted in fewer food spikes and more stable blood glucose levels but as I said not everyone loves it.  For some users, their traditional rapid acting insulin seemed to work better.

Final thoughts…

All in all, most people with diabetes who are  trying the new kid on the block seem to be happy with it.  It offers another insulin choice  for those who struggled with post-meal spikes or don’t pre-bolus meals.

It must also be noted however that while Fiasp is not currently approved for use in insulin pumps in Canada, both those on insulin pumps and MDI are using this insulin aspart.

Finally, I was also happy to see that the price of Fiasp insulin was par with NovoRapid.  This meant that there was no need to worry about an increased cost for out of pocket insulin expenses.  My understanding is that Fiasp insulin is not yet on many (or any) provincial formularies.  This most likely will mean that if you decide to use the insulin and are currently using a publicly funded program, you may have to either pay for this insulin out of pocket or speak to your doctor about having special authorization added to your benefits to ensure full coverage.

Please remember to check with your diabetes team before starting any new insulin regimen. 

*http://www.novonordisk.ca/content/dam/Canada/AFFILIATE/www-novonordisk-ca/News/Fiasp_Launch_PR_English.pdf

**http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/877892

 

Do They Know What They Are Missing?

I was again honored to be a part of the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Vancouver Conference this past weekend.  As a member of the faculty, I enjoy interacting with the many families who attend the conference, chat with some of the vendors and learn from the other staff and faculty whom attend.  It is an amazing experience. 

Over the past few years I have been a little discouraged at the lack of support from Canadian vendors.  Each year that I attend, I hope to gain some insight into which insulin pump I should chose for my son. His warranty will soon be up and what better place to learn about pumps then at a diabetes conference?  

Last year, when the conference was in Toronto, one of the major pump companies was obviously missing. I was quite disappointed because I had decided that I wanted to seriously look at their CGM integration. A few other companies also seemed to be missing but the event was still a great success. 

This year, when looking at technology, the pickings were even slimmer.  There were only two pump companies to chose from.  There was only one glucometer company to check out.  There were no insulin companies showing us the new directions that insulin and other hormones are headed in.  There were no sweetener booths showing us the awesome ways that better tasting alternatives to sugar could be used. 

There were some great companies present.  Children could decorate OmniPods.  Everyone loved dressing up and having their picture taken at the One Touch booth.  There were new gaming apps on display by an innovative company called ayogo as well as booths from Store a Tooth, MyCareConnect, Dex4, CDA, JDRF and more.  

At the beginning of the event, I was really disappointed by the poor Canadian corporate support to families living with diabetes.  Why were we not important? Did they feel that they were already reaching us through social media and did not need to be “seen” at such an event? 

As the event came to a close, my perspective changed dramatically.  I am sure that Jeff Hitchcock, Laura Billetdeaux and the other CWD staff experience this all of the time, but it was a bit novel for me.  I had vendors coming up to me as we were leaving thanking me (I spend a lot of time directing people from the registration booth so they have seen me a few times)! They were grateful to have been a part of such a special weekend.  They were honored (as I always am) to be involved in something that touches so many.  


I am not sure why the “other guys” don’t think that they need to attend CWD Canada events.  I know that they are truly missing out!  These events do more than bring families together and connect kids with new friends who also have diabetes–they create friends for life.  They create memories.  They inspire. They touch our hearts like nothing else can.