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Health Agencies Update
February 22/29, 2012

Insulin Pen Reminder

JAMA. 2012;307(8):773. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.175

Insulin pens should not be used for more than 1 patient, according to a reminder from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

These devices, which enable patients with diabetes to inject themselves with insulin, are intended for single-person use. In 2009, the CDC documented cases in which individuals were placed at risk by clinicians using a single insulin pen for multiple patients and issued an alert to clinicians to avoid this risky practice. However, the agency continues to receive reports of inappropriate use of these devices, including an incident in 2011 that may have exposed 2000 patients to the risk of blood-borne infection.