Fiasp will be back!

An announcement from JDRF this morning gave us the news I’d been hoping for:

Come the 1st of October (only a few weeks away) Fiasp Penfills will become available via PBS scripts. This is the outcome I had been expecting/hoping for based on scuttlebutt.

Prescriptions will come with 1 repeat. Each fill of the script is five boxes, each with five 3 mL cartridges.

No FlexTouch pens or 10 mL vials

Fiasp FlexTouch pens and 10 mL vials will not be added back. But don’t panic!

As I outlined in June’s article on pens and cartridges these Penfill cartridges can be easily used to:

  • Drop into NovoPens for use in injections.
  • Fill insulin pumps.

They also take up much less space in your fridge than five boxes of pens!

Of course, if you still have a valid prescription for vials or pens that was written before April 1st, you can get it filled up until the end of September.

Don’t have a NovoPen?

As outlined in another June article on this site the NovoPen 4, NovoPen Echo, and NovoPen 6 can be obtained for free from pharmacies or directly from Novo.

I gather that officially the NovoPen 6 (which has NFC uploads of dose history) was supposed to be only for Ryzodeg users (as Ryzodeg recently had supply of FlexTouch pens dry up) but all of those pens are solid devices that work well with all Penfill insulins.

You do not need a pen in order to use the insulin in a pump, but it makes a great backup option.

Thanks to everyone!

This is a positive outcome, and thanks to the hard work of lots of people. I was one of the first people to mention the Fiasp outage back in February, but many other people and organisations took up the fight, including my friend Belinda via her petition. Radio 2GB in Sydney provided a platform for a few advocates to speak up about it (they’ve put out a podcast update regarding today’s news).

And thanks to JDRF Australia for this morning’s announcement (and all their work leading up to this).

9 thoughts on “Fiasp will be back!”

  1. A couple of the pharmacies I use have multiple Novopen 6 that aren’t tagged as customer orders sitting on the shelf. I’ve never seen them carry stock of the earlier pens so presumably this is because of the Ryzodeg issue, but it’s good news for Fiasp users.

  2. Thanks David, this is awesome news. Thank you everyone for your collective efforts in achieving this for our community by establishing and signing and promoting the petition, speaking up about the issue, and writing submissions to PBAC. For us this result is even better than before as the penfills will be much more convenient than the FlexTouch pens. So grateful, thank you.

  3. I wonder if they’ll have enough novopens in stock to cover the 15,000 people moving from Fiasp vials and flextouch pens? I don’t have a pump so I sourced a novopen 6 from my chemist today. I actually asked for two pens, just in case one breaks and I have no other way to give myself insulin. They told me they could only give one but if it breaks, just come in for a replacement. I asked what if it breaks outside of business hours. “Just come in the next day”, was the response. They have no idea how type 1 diabetes works. If a flextouch broke I would always have another one handy. It’s a bit of a concern. I don’t know if I can buy a box of syringes through the NDSS, just in case?

    1. As someone who relied on these sorts of pens for many years, it was standard for me to have at least two pens around.
      But I doubt it will be quite 15,000 people. People moving from vials won’t have been using pens for example, and some of the FlexTouch users were already using them to fill pumps and didn’t really care about the pen component.

      Keep in mind that there are a few pens that you can use with these cartridges:
      NovoPen 3, NovoPen 4, NovoPen Echo, NovoPen 6. And some older models if you still have one around. And the Medtronic InPen.

      Yes you can get a box of 100 syringes from NDSS at no cost, and yes you can stick the needle into the end of the Penfill to extract insulin. Best to not blow air into it though so it can continue to be used in a pen (the rubber stopper will move forward as you extract).

  4. Fiasp Penfill is listed on PBS website:

    It appears to have the same DPMQ as regular Novorapid/Insulin Aspart, surely that is a mistake?

    The DPMQ is sort of the cost price of the medication, i think it was almost $200 previously for Fiasp Flexpens. I understood Novo did not want to discount Fiasp to the level of regular NovoRapid and the withdrawal of the product happened.

    1. No, my understanding was the issue was the the government was trying to force the price of Fiasp down below that of NovoRapid (possibly as an introduction to further price cuts across the board).

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