Thirty different insulin formulations are marketed in the UK. They vary in their species of origin, speed of onset, peak action and duration of effect. Most of the preparations can be administered using a standard syringe; some can also be given using a reusable 'pen' with a cartridge or a 'pen' which is pre-loaded and disposable. This situation makes selection difficult, especially as it is often not easy to discern any clinically important distinctions between the alternatives. Here we review the products available and consider whether there is scope for reducing the range.
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