Key points

Key points

  • Several new insulin products have been launched in recent years, including high-strength, fixed-combination and biosimilar insulins.

  • The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued advice for healthcare professionals to minimise the risk of medication error with these products.

  • Hypoglycaemia is an inevitable adverse effect of insulin therapy. All the NICE guidelines on diabetes recommend that people receiving insulin therapy are provided with education and information about awareness and management of hypoglycaemia.

  • Diabetes features in the NHS Long Term Plan published in January 2019.

  • Options for local implementation:

    • Be aware of the differences between insulin products and ensure that people receive appropriate training on their correct use. Advise people to only use insulin in the way they have been trained because using it any other way may result in a dangerous overdose or underdose.

    • Ensure that people with diabetes who are receiving insulin therapy are given information about awareness and management of hypoglycaemia.

    • Ensure that people with diabetes who use insulin and who drive are aware of the need to notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Healthcare professionals should refer to chapterĀ 3 of the DVLA's Assessing fitness to drive: a guide for healthcare professionals for more information.

    • Be aware of 'sick-day' rules and ensure that people with diabetes who are receiving insulin therapy are given appropriate information about these.

    • Give adults who are using insulin therapy a patient information booklet and an Insulin Passport.