Novo Nordisk introduced the world‘s first insulin pen to the market in the format of a pen that featured exchangeable insulin cartridges, as an alternative to injections, back in 1985. This patient-friendly form of administration is now standard. Photo: Novo Nordisk
This development presents the pharmaceutical industry with new challenges all over the world. The pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk that has set itself the highest goal of one day finding a cure to diabetes is known to be a pioneer in the area of insulin research. The company founder and Nobel Prize winner August Krogh was even personally affected by it because his wife Marie suffered from type 2 diabetes. In 1921, they visited the research center of the University of Toronto together, the first institution to ever treat people with insulin. It was here that August Krogh received permission to start producing insulin in Scandinavia.
Today, with some 30,000 employees, Novo Nordisk is a pharmaceutical group that is active internationally and has its main headquarters in Denmark and subsidiaries in 79 countries. Approximately 15 percent of its sales are invested toward research and development. Novo Nordisk is thus not only the largest private research company in all of Denmark, but also the world’s largest investor in research on diabetes mellitus. Last year, the company that specializes in protein-based drugs and hormones spent around 1 billion euros for research in this area alone.
1985: The world’s first insulin pen is introduced to the market
The pen system certainly ranks as one of the pioneering inventions in the treatment of diabetes. Novo Nordisk introduced the world’s first insulin pen the size of a fountain pen that featured replaceable insulin cartridges to the marketplace back in 1985. Until then, insulin was only administered using a syringe. This often resulted in diabetics being disparaged as drug addicts. When the pen is used as an injection device, however, the application is not only more discreet, preparing the dosage with the help of a cartridge is also much easier, more accurate, and, even more importantly, more reliable, individually adjustable and comfortable. In short, more patient-friendly. The active ingredient is stored inside a cartridge that is inserted into the pen system. SCHOTT is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of these glass bodies. The company is thus able to supply pharmaceutical firms with cartridges that offer very tight dimensional and cosmetic tolerances. These are of particular importance to filling products properly and efficiently in state-of-the-art filling plants. ”Our pen systems are really high-tech products. The objective here is to offer extreme precision and top-quality, especially with the glass bodies, and SCHOTT is the leader in this field,” explains Jörn Oldigs, Managing Director of Novo Nordisk Pharma GmbH in Germany.
More about Cartridges