Diabetes groups question insulin pump safety

Thu, 19 Mar 2015
Questions have been raised over the safety of insulin pumps by the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. The groups recommend more research into the safety of insulin pumps.

Currently, Europe and America do not share the same insulin pump standards. The diabetes groups suggest universal standards. Furthermore, they recommend building a global database that records information about harmful events with insulin pumps.

The database, they suggest, should note the number of patients who use insulin pumps and the results of insulin pump studies.

Currently, the database held by the US Food and Drug Administration is inadequate, according to the diabetes groups, while the European version is not publicly accessible.

Dr. Anne Peters, director of the University of Southern California Clinical Diabetes Program, said: "Technology is evolving rapidly for treating diabetes. While that's certainly a good thing, we don't have very good post-marketing surveillance for devices such as insulin pumps, particularly in Europe where manufacturers often introduce products prior to releasing them in the United States.

"We need to make sure we have sufficient data about how the devices are working once they hit the market, so that we can support patients by helping them understand how to prevent errors in using them."

Dr. Peters also suggested that people with diabetes using insulin pumps have a "pump failure plan," as insulin pumps, like any other machine, can break or malfunction.
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