MONTREAL, July 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Kids with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) face many difficulties and challenges, including learning to self-inject. But now a new insulin pen from Sanofi Canada has been designed to help these youngsters through the process.
JuniorSTAR™, available across Canada, has been developed for ease of use. A recent survey found that JuniorSTAR™ is well suited to the lifestyle of young people with T1D and "could help them to gain autonomy to self-inject."1
This is important, since controlling their T1D is the first step in enabling people to become empowered. "These kids go through a lot – emotionally, socially, and psychologically," said Martin Arès, Sanofi Canada's Vice-President, Diabetes Patient-Centered Unit. "By making it easier for them to manage, giving them greater control, JuniorSTAR™ can make a positive difference."
In Canada, more than 300,000 individuals have T1D and the number is growing every year.2 T1D usually develops in childhood or adolescence.3 It is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, thereby leaving the individual dependent on an external source of insulin for life.
Living with T1D requires constant vigilance. People with the disease must carefully balance insulin doses (either by injections multiple times a day or continuous infusion through a pump) with eating and daily activities. They must also test their blood sugar by pricking their fingers six or more times a day. Despite this constant attention, people with T1D still run the risk of dangerously high or low blood sugar levels, both of which can be life-threatening.4 *
1 Klonoff D et al., Evaluation of the JuniorSTAR® Half-unit Insulin Pen in Young People with Type 1 Diabetes – User Perspectives, European Endocrinology, 2013; 9(2):82-5
2 Canadian Diabetes Association, The prevalence and costs of diabetes, December 2009.
3 Canadian Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.ca/documents/get-involved/WEB_Eng.CDA_Report_.pdf
4 JDRF http://www.jdrf.ca/news-and-media/fact-sheets/type-1-diabetes/
* As per the CDA guidelines: For individuals using insulin more than once a day, SMBG should be measured as an essential part of diabetes self-management and should be undertaken at least 3 times per day and include both pre- and postprandial measurements. http://guidelines.diabetes.ca/executivesummary/ch9#bib1
For parents and young patients, especially, T1D can be overwhelming. "It definitely has a big impact on their lives and emotional well-being," explained Marlene Grass RN, a Nurse Educator in Durham Region specializing in T1D. "They may be self-conscious, worried about body image, feeling socially excluded, angry and may have depressed feelings. It may affect how well they do in school. It has an impact on their family and caregivers as well."
She added: "That's why it's so important to empower these youngsters, to help them gain greater independence in performing their diabetes procedures, under adult supervision, and having a feeling of more control over their lives. It is also reassuring for parents who are very concerned about the health and wellbeing of their children. JuniorSTAR™ is an insulin injection pen that helps facilitate this."
The key features of JuniorSTAR™ are:
- doses can be adjusted in half-units – meeting the requirements of younger patients
- the dosage display is large – easy to read
- it's lightweight (only 34 grams) – easy to carry
- the outer body is made of aluminum – can withstand kids' active lives
- there are two different coloured pens – to help avoid insulin mix-up
- there is a single step dial-back – mistakes can be easily corrected
Children frequently make mistakes when self-administering insulin. A device that makes the process easier and simpler will help them avoid errors, improve their dose dialing accuracy, and give them greater confidence.
"T1D is often difficult. It takes an emotional toll. It is life-threatening. And it never goes away," said Julien Oakes, a person living with T1D. "But we can learn to successfully manage the disease, and with the support of resources such as JuniorSTAR™, we can get on with living a normal life and achieving our goals."
Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
Sanofi entities in Canada include Sanofi Canada (pharmaceuticals), Sanofi Pasteur (vaccines), Sanofi Consumer Health (cosmeceuticals, over-the-counter products and specialty care), Genzyme (rare diseases) and Merial (animal health). Together they employ close to 1,700 people across the country. In 2013 Sanofi companies invested $125,1 million in R&D in Canada, creating jobs, business and opportunity throughout the country. www.sanofi.ca
Follow Sanofi Canada on Twitter @SanofiCanada.
Video and photos are available on request.
Go to starsystem.sanofi.ca for further information.
SOURCE: Sanofi Canada
For further information: For interviews, contact: Toronto, Niki Kerimova, office: 416-777-0368, cell: 647-278-3375, [email protected]; Montreal, Lamia Charlebois, office: 514-279-4601, cell.: 514-581-5831, [email protected]