Doubly mad at Novo Nordisk’s for look-alike insulin pens

C’mon Novo Nordisk what are you thinking? Both your Tresiba and FIASP insulin pens are nearly identical! I know already I will at least once, if not more, grab the wrong pen and take 7 times my mealtime dose accidentally.


On the left Tresiba long-acting basal insulin. On the right FIASP ultra-rapid insulin

For the first time ever, after 46 years with type 1 diabetes I’m using Novo Nordisk’s insulins for both my basal and bolus: Tresiba and FIASP. A long time user of Sanofi’s Lantus and Lilly’s Humalog, Tresiba covers me a full 24 hours which Lantus never did and FIASP, which I’m just starting, to see if it actually is faster than Humalog, appears to be.

I’m really happy with both these insulins, but how could a huge international corporation of device designers, engineers, research and development, marketing and business professionals not consider the risk of confusing these two pens, as hundreds of thousands of people with diabetes may use these two products – just as you’d like them to.

How could you not notice, care or consider the identical color of the pens, designs and shape will cause many customers potentially life-threatening consequences?

This is my own picture I took this morning of my pens just after looking down at the Tresiba pen stuck in my thigh as I had my finger on the plunger, thinking, “Oh, my god, is that my Tresiba in my leg or the FIASP? SH*T!!!”


The reason the caps look different is the Tresiba (on the bottom) has a Timesulin cap on it.

Luckily I had picked up the right pen, but trust me, in the midst of making breakfast and thinking about the day and being on auto-pilot taking six or so shots a day, the day will come when I take 7 units of FIASP (my Tresiba dose) when I meant to take 1.

I’ve already done it once with two pens that didn’t even look alike. How can insulin manufacturers be so blind?

What do you say Novo Nordisk? Does it cost you pennies less to keep the designs the same at the risk of injury to patients? I can’t think of another reason, but I’d love to know.

I’d be even happier if you’d come up with a different design and help people with diabetes have one less thing to worry about on a daily, multiple times a day, basis.