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Diabetes Support Forum UK    Diabetes topics: closed to new messages. Visit the new forum (link above)    Insulin and medication  ›  Eli Lilly response to faulty Humapen Memoir
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Pattidevans
October 24, 2010, 12:20am Report to Moderator

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Ok I mentioned this before.  I am not lucky with pens it appears.  In September I changed to Humalog and the Humapen Memoir, however within a week or two it became apparent that there were problems with the pen.  It kept on resetting itself and blinking, so many times that it became almost unusable.  The first time I was tearing my hair out because I was going away for a weekend and I was terrified it would fail.  After that it became very unstable and although their helpline was helpful resetting it didn't work.  So they asked me to return it which I did (and at the same time got a spare pen on prescription - Novorapid bridged the gap).  They sent me a replacement which has been 100% fine so I am now confident it wasn't my fault.  Today I received a response from them which has left me somewhat confused.  

There was nothing wrong with the pen, it functioned fine apparently (it didn't) but the issue with the device can be faulty batteries - now you cannot change the batteries and they are an integral part of the pen - so if a faulty battery is in the pen doesn't it make the pen faulty?  They are seeking new suppliers for batteries... does this not mean they acknowledge problems?  

There are subliminal references to it not being kept properly temperature wise, but mine was - in the case it came with and not in the fridge or the oven.  

On the whole I like the pen, but I do think they need to get their act together.  I attach their letter to me - god knows what your average non-forum information seeking diabetic would make of it all!


Patti

Type 1 on Levemir/Humalog, Lisinopril, Thyroxine, Liothyronine and now 1000mg Glucophage SR. Last Hba1c 5.6  Highest Hba1c since March 2004.
Please visit our new forum http://diabetes-support.org.uk/diabetesforum/index.php as this one has closed
© 2011 Patti Evans
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Pattidevans
October 24, 2010, 12:25am Report to Moderator

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Patti

Type 1 on Levemir/Humalog, Lisinopril, Thyroxine, Liothyronine and now 1000mg Glucophage SR. Last Hba1c 5.6  Highest Hba1c since March 2004.
Please visit our new forum http://diabetes-support.org.uk/diabetesforum/index.php as this one has closed
© 2011 Patti Evans
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Sue
October 24, 2010, 8:44am Report to Moderator
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Posts: 552
Dear they lie Lilly,
Thank you for your letter.
So It would appear that the pen is faulty due to a  battery malfunction. Even though you spend half the letter trying to blame me for the problem. (So kind of you)
I do consider it so thoughtfull of you to find a new battery supplier to solve this very serious problem, of NO delivery for an insulin dependant diabetic.

A simple, so sorry there appears to be a problem with the pen, we are at this moment addressing the problem.
Thank you very much for bringing this matter to our attention.
Would have been quite sufficient as a reply.

Yours sincerely

Patti


Type 1 for 46 years insulin pump user. No complications.
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Moby
October 24, 2010, 10:47pm Report to Moderator

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Dear Missus Numpty pen user.
we tested the pen and it wurked (not our fault then)
we use the cheapest batteries possible to maximise our profits. when they do fail its not our fault.
the software is porduced by someone else too. so thats not our fault either if it goes wrong. plus it is powered by someone elses battery.
lithium batteries are affected by the cold. unfortunately we cant control the weather but we still send em via carrier across the world in uninsulated boxes inside our pens. airlines and carriers should have warm cargo holds or vans. so thats not our fault.
i am sure the battery excuse will be enough to confuse you as its your own fault you are diabetic anyway.
we recommend you check your pen every time you use it, like your life depends on it.
if you do find a problem with it we will reply with an inane letter like this to ensure that you feel completely  annoyed that you even bothered to contact us in the first place.

signed
A Typist


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Pattidevans
October 24, 2010, 10:52pm Report to Moderator

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Yes, I think you both sum it up well... but let me (evil grin) respond to them as the Administrator of a forum that is found pretty well on any google search term regarding diabetes.  We are normally about 3/4 issues on the main search page.


Patti

Type 1 on Levemir/Humalog, Lisinopril, Thyroxine, Liothyronine and now 1000mg Glucophage SR. Last Hba1c 5.6  Highest Hba1c since March 2004.
Please visit our new forum http://diabetes-support.org.uk/diabetesforum/index.php as this one has closed
© 2011 Patti Evans
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Moby
October 24, 2010, 10:53pm Report to Moderator

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the lithium battery and cold thing does sound plausible tho. i have experienced faulty replacement circuit boards in boilers due to excessive cold.

it seems that electronic devices do not like the cold. it doesnt explain the 'pass the buck' letter tho.


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Pattidevans
October 24, 2010, 11:26pm Report to Moderator

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Precisely since I kept the pen at room temp


Patti

Type 1 on Levemir/Humalog, Lisinopril, Thyroxine, Liothyronine and now 1000mg Glucophage SR. Last Hba1c 5.6  Highest Hba1c since March 2004.
Please visit our new forum http://diabetes-support.org.uk/diabetesforum/index.php as this one has closed
© 2011 Patti Evans
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Trinkwasser
October 25, 2010, 12:13am Report to Moderator
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We bought the cheapest crap batteries we could find and now you've caught us out damn you! Now we have to find some slightly less crap ones. This will come out of our bonus.

They may have half a point though, part of ISO 9001 (used to be BS 5750) had to do with traceability of batches of out of spec/defective parts. This happened to me on occasion but not dealing with the public we had a much more professional attitude to recalls/service updates.

See also, Toyota (again)


On the cusp between Type 2, IGT and Reactive Hypoglycemia
A1c 5.2 5.2 5.6
Old lipids HDL 0.63 LDL 5.2 Trigs 4.3
Now HDL 1.4 LDL 2.4 Trigs 0.7
BP was 145/95 now around 125/80
Diet, exercise. Alpha lipoic acid 300mg, Olmesartan 20mg, Simvastatin 10mg
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Sue
October 25, 2010, 8:39am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Moby
the lithium battery and cold thing does sound plausible tho. i have experienced faulty replacement circuit boards in boilers due to excessive cold.

it seems that electronic devices do not like the cold. it doesnt explain the 'pass the buck' letter tho.


Ah so the device has a very limited market then? In the USA and Canada it would not be sellable due to the extreme temps out there that's for sure.  


Type 1 for 46 years insulin pump user. No complications.
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everydayupsanddowns
October 25, 2010, 9:01am Report to Moderator

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Sounds like this is the reason there are almost NO pen-injection devices which record time and dose information (an incredibly useful facility).

Patti - have I got this right... the pen just won't deliver insulin if the battery fails? I would have thought delivery would take place, but the dose would not be recorded.  Seems a bit of a major and unnecessary design flaw to me.

A bit like no braking function at all if the ABS circuit throws its toys out of the pram...

I have to say I've LOVED the functionality of my Memoir since I switched earlier this year. Might need to get hold of some emergency back-up syringes though after reading this!

M


Mike

Type 1 since: 1991 Last HBA1c: 6.3.  Lipids: 4.7 Chol (calculated 2.1HDL/2.3LDL) Trigs 0.7
Currently on: Humalog (via Humapen Memoir) and Lantus (via Autopen 24)
Blogging at: www.everydayupsanddowns.co.uk

PLEASE NOTE: This is the archive version of this forum and no longer accepts new posts/replies. The new forum is open here: www.diabetes-support.org.uk/diabetesforum/
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Liam
October 25, 2010, 9:44am Report to Moderator
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I wonder if chemists know not to refrigerate the pens?      Or might it get put in with insulin?      I wonder why they need to use lithium, it doesn't make a long lasting battery but one that can discharge at high voltage quickly.  


DX Type I 1994.    
Levemir  22u AM / 10u PM      
Novorapid; Breakfast 2:1, Lunch 1:1, Evening meal 1.5:1

HbA1c 3/10 10.2%, 7/10 8.1%, 12/10 7.5%, 2/11 7.8%, 8/11 8.6% 9/11 8.3%
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Pattidevans
October 25, 2010, 10:48am Report to Moderator

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Quoted Text
I wonder if chemists know not to refrigerate the pens?
You have a very good point there Liam, which I shall point out in my response to them.  Mostly my prescription (if it contains insulin as a part of it) comes in two separate bags one which is kept in the fridge and one not, but there are bound to be numpties in some chemists who wouldn't think that far.

No, Mike, if the battery fails it will not deliver insulin.  I now have a back up pen though.  If I never use it I wonder if it will work in 3 years time when the present one dies.

FWIW I have had no problems whatsoever with the replacement they sent me, so don't let them tell me it was somehow mysteriously "my" fault!  I had momentarily considered putting the original into my Frio bag and had then very sensibly thought "No, anything with a battery shouldn't be exposed to dampness" and had therefore kept it in the supplied hard case.  TBH it was a lot less hassle than carting around a Frio and I consequently left my Levemir at home and just took the hard case around with me.  However, during my holiday in Australia that would not have been such a good idea since the temperatures were frequently up in the high 90s

If you google on Humapen Memoir Battery this thread shows up as the 6th result down.


Patti

Type 1 on Levemir/Humalog, Lisinopril, Thyroxine, Liothyronine and now 1000mg Glucophage SR. Last Hba1c 5.6  Highest Hba1c since March 2004.
Please visit our new forum http://diabetes-support.org.uk/diabetesforum/index.php as this one has closed
© 2011 Patti Evans
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GrammaBear
October 25, 2010, 11:15pm Report to Moderator

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Posts: 1,610
Patti,

I don't know if this link is of interest to you, but apparently the Memoir pen has problems not just limited to what you experienced.

http://www.medkb.com/Uwe/Forum.aspx/diabetes/6672/Problems-with-LIlly-Memoir-pen

Kathy


Kathy
Type 1 diagnosed 4-21-2003
Novolog,  Medtronic Revel 723
Dexcom CGM (self funded)
A1C 6.8% (3-8-2011)

Micardis, Metoprolol XL, HCTZ, Synthroid, Alprazolam, Metformin & various vitamins and supplements



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Pattidevans
October 27, 2010, 7:39pm Report to Moderator

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OK peeps here is my response:-
Quoted Text
Lina Walsh                                        Your ref: 1261/Q/10
Eli Lilly and Company Limited                         27 October 2010
Priestley Road
BASINGSTOKE
Hants
RG24 9NL

Dear Ms Walsh

Re: Humapen Memoir Batch 0809C02

Thank you for your letter dated 20th October 2010 in which you state that the device I returned to you appeared and functioned normally on inspection by yourselves.  I do find this curious that it should behave perfectly in laboratory conditions, because it most certainly did not function normally whilst I was attempting to use it to inject the insulin that my life depends upon.   Prior to my returning it, it repeatedly required re-setting and on at least two occasions  it would not reset after half a dozen attempts, therefore I had to resort to using a spare Novorapid pen I had kept for this very contingency.  By comparison the replacement pen you sent me has functioned perfectly since day one.

As per your advice on both using the pen and keeping it correctly I can reassure you that I had closely read the instructions and had kept the pen at room temperature in the hard case supplied by yourselves.  At no time did I attempt to keep it in refrigerated conditions, I had not visited the Antarctic or the tropics, nor taken it swimming whilst it was in my possession.  I had also inspected it closely prior to commencing use, and at the time it did not appear abnormal in any way, but how should a new user of your device ascertain what an abnormal appearance for one of your pens should be?  As it happens, the problem would appear to be with the faulty battery which was not on view.

Levity aside, whilst I appreciate your reassurance that you are sourcing another supplier for batteries, I would like to stress that this is not a faulty kettle or vacuum cleaner it is a vital medical device on which people with diabetes depend for their lives.  It is also the fact that without a functioning battery the pen will simply not deliver insulin!  I would therefore like to see a more proactive approach from one of the largest pharmaceutical companies supplying diabetes equipment, such as recalling the pens known to have batteries from the faulty supply and ensuring that a way is found to warn pharmacists that the devices should not be refrigerated.   Many people with diabetes have had the experience of ordering insulin along with other medications and the whole package has been stored in the fridge at the pharmacy.

Finally, the members of http://www.diabetes-support.org.uk were most interested to see your letter.  I am pleased to say that with the proliferation of online diabetes groups (with many people cross posting between groups) it doesn’t take long for news to pass from one side of the world to the other ensuring that people with diabetes can be warned if they are likely to come across a pen with a faulty battery.   We also give each other recommendations regarding positive experiences with devices and insulins.  I personally asked my nurse to prescribe Humalog and your pen on recommendation from a fellow forum member.  Conversely it doesn’t take long for a device to gain a bad reputation either, and these days when informed diabetics ask for their preferred type of insulin and delivery device rather than depending on the DSN to give us what she thinks best, we are rapidly becoming customers and consumers, rather than blindly dependant.  It is time that companies like Eli Lilly acknowledge this fact rather than send out letters that, by obfuscation, try to place the blame on the end user.



Comments before I send it?


Patti

Type 1 on Levemir/Humalog, Lisinopril, Thyroxine, Liothyronine and now 1000mg Glucophage SR. Last Hba1c 5.6  Highest Hba1c since March 2004.
Please visit our new forum http://diabetes-support.org.uk/diabetesforum/index.php as this one has closed
© 2011 Patti Evans
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Sue
October 27, 2010, 10:03pm Report to Moderator
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Posts: 552
Very nicely put and your point is very well made with NO waffle.(Unlike the letter recieved)


Type 1 for 46 years insulin pump user. No complications.
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