Items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care - insulin pen needles costing ≥£5 per 100 needles by all Sub-ICB Locations

Why it matters:

NHS England guidance states:

Pen needles are available in sizes from 4mm to 12mm and cost from £3.95 to £30.08 for 100 (NHS Drug Tariff). Different needles will fit different pens, but some fit all major insulin delivery pen devices currently available.

Rationalising use ensures that the most cost-effective options are used first line.

The Forum for Injection Technique (FIT) UK considers the 4mm needle to be the safest pen needle for adults and children, regardless of age, gender and body mass index (BMI).

Using shorter length needles helps prevent intramuscular injection of insulin. (IM injection of insulin can result in unpredictable blood glucose levels.) Therefore, the most cost-effective 4mm needle should be chosen.

For patients currently using longer pen needle lengths (8mm, 12mm), changing to a shorter length (6mm or less) is advised, but only after discussion with a healthcare professional to ensure they receive advice on the correct injection technique.

For patients who cannot self-administer, it may be appropriate for the healthcare professional to use a safety needle; however, this would not need to be supplied on prescription.

NHS England recommend that GPs:

Description: Cost of higher cost (≥£5 per 100 needles) insulin pen needles per 1000 patients

Performance: Loading...


Tagged as: Cost Saving, Efficacy, Diabetes, NHS England - items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care (or browse all measures)

Sub-ICB Locations are ordered by mean percentile over the past six months. Each chart shows the results for the individual Sub-ICB Location, plus deciles across all Sub-ICB Locations in the NHS in England.

View measure for NHS England combined →

Fetching data...

Do you need help with your analysis? Don't forget to check the FAQ page, and get in touch if you have questions.