Shortage of disposable insulin needles expectedgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
Shortage of disposable insulin needles expected
A shortage of needles for a popular type of insulin has some diabetics and pharmacies scrambling for supplies.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A shortage of needles for a popular type of insulin has some diabetics and pharmacies scrambling for supplies.
The shortage arose in March amid increased demand for Becton Dickinson's disposable needles.
"The demand just exceeded our company's capacity capabilities. We cannot make enough," said Camilla Jenkins, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey-based company.
To cope, the company is expanding production at its two plants in Nebraska and Ireland, said Jenkins, who declined to give production figures.
The needles are for factory-filled insulin cartridges, which have become popular as a more convenient way to carry and inject the hormone. The half-inch-long pen-type needles are designed to be used once, then thrown away.
The expansions should be complete by August, but it will take until the end of the year for supplies to catch up with surging demand, Jenkins said.
Becton Dickinson advises customers who can't find the needles at their pharmacies to search other stores, wait until new shipments come in or use conventional syringes.
Steven Lill, a Bloomington, Ind., pharmacist whose store was temporarily out of the needles, was told by a distributor not to expect another shipment until mid-June.
Keith Klein, a Bloomington businessman, nearly ran out of needles recently but managed to scrape up enough to cover his two-a-day needs.
"It's pretty sobering," Klein said. "It never occurred to me there could be a problem, due to the number of diabetics."
Wednesday, May 23, 2001
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 24, 2001
It makes no sense that suddenly, there should be an increase in demand to the extent that they can't keep up with production. There is no such thing as a "diabetes outbreak" (!). Rather, one would assume that production has gone down for some reason- technological or otherwise. Or, could it be that the manufacturers are learning that scarce supplies increase revenues....?
-- Swissrose (email@example.com), May 24, 2001.