Category Archives: health costs

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

 

Diabetes Blessings…Part 2

Once again I am behind.  I could use a thousand excuses including the fact that once again I was not feeling overly blessed after looking at the large gaps in testing shown by my son’s meter but I won’t. Friends have truly been the biggest diabetes blessing in my life as I already mentioned but there have been others.

Another big one has been a deeper sense of compassion and empathy.  I have always considered my self a pretty compassionate person but when a chronic disease moves into your life, you develop a new perspective on things.  

I saw our universal health care system in a less flattering light. I began to understand the financial toll that diseases can create on families.  Its not bad enough to have a family member who requires life saving therapies or drug but having to reallocate resources to manage that can be exceptionally stressful.

I began to understand how Alzheimer and cancer patients’ families felt. I understood their battles with government and developed a first hand knowledge of something called a “formulary” which is government talk for the drugs that they feel warrant coverage under their provincial health care systems and the ones that they deem extravagant.

My heart grew that much bigger as I began to get a glimpse of the fears of parents who deal with severe allergies and asthma.  You never know when a life threatening problem will happen.  Nights are not safe. Schools are not safe. Your children being alone is a constant worry. 

Diabetes is a nightmare.  Its costs are insane without extensive private medical insurance.  The blessing in all this is that I have developed an empathy for people who live with a variety of other disease.  Diabetes is hard but it is not the only disease that is hard.  We all have our “thing” to deal with and a blessing of diabetes is that it has shown me this in a broader light.