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Media Release: Australians with Diabetes Suffering from Discomfort or Needle Anxiety may Benefit from New Generation 5-Bevel Needle Design


HCP Media Release

Advanced needle technology improves comfort and patient adherence


 5th August, 2013 – Research has shown that discomfort associated with daily injections for insulin dependent people living with diabetes, may be reduced with a short needle design with five bevels, as opposed to three.1

Additional studies have also shown that as many as one-fifth to one-third of people with diabetes are hesitant or unwilling to give themselves insulin injections for reasons that include needle anxiety.2,3,4,5

In recent years, advances in needle manufacturing technology, along with shorter and thinner needles, have been associated with improving patient self-rating of injection comfort.1,5

With these patient needs in mind, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company has today announced the Australian launch of the shortest needle with an enhanced tip design  BD Ultra-Fine™ 4mm Pen Needle with PentaPoint™ Comfort. 

BD’s latest advancement in injection comfort, PentaPoint is a patented 5-bevel needle tip design with a flatter, thinner surface to help penetrate the skin with significantly greater ease. Bench tests showed the modified PentaPoint needle tip reduces the force to penetrate a skin substitute by 23% compared to 3-bevel pen needles.1

At 4mm, this new needle is in line with recommendations released by the Australia Diabetes Educators Association (ADEA) in 2011, where  shorter needles (4, 5 and 6mm) were identified as more suitable for children, adolescents, adults and obese patients, and highlighted as providing equivalent glycaemic control as larger needles.6

Credentialled Diabetes Educator, Nurse Practitioner and Chair of the ADEA Clinical Practice Committee, Michelle Robins, says the correct injecting technique coupled with an advanced design pen needle may reduce the burden of insulin injecting, and boost self-care adherence.

“By helping to minimise injection resistance, fear and anxiety in people with diabetes, they are more likely to adopt and adhere to their recommended management routine, to improve their diabetes care and overall wellbeing.”

Data from the National Diabetes Services Scheme shows that 65% of insulin injecting Australians with Type 1 and 2 diabetes used pen needles that are 8mm and greater in length7 compared to 55 per cent of diabetes patients internationally.8

“Education is paramount to assisting Australian patients transition to insulin injections, to reduce injection related complications, improve treatment compliance and achieve glycaemic control,” concluded Ms Robins.

Currently, there are approximately 1.15 million Australians living with diabetes9. Of those injecting insulin, up to 76% of type 1 and 37% of type 2 patients inject insulin multiple times a day.6

In a clinical home-use study, patients who inject insulin found BD’s 5-bevel pen needles to be significantly less painful, easier to insert, more comfortable and preferred overall when compared with current 3-bevel pen needles.1

 Kevin Barrow, Managing Director, BD Australia and New Zealand says the new PentaPoint 5-bevel technology has delivered a significant step forward in enhancing patient comfort and injection outcomes. 

Mr Barrow comments: “BD Diabetes Care has been a leader in diabetes injection devices for almost 90 years, and is committed to helping improve the injection experience for the 1.15 million9Australians living with diabetes, through ongoing patient education, the constant pursuit of innovation and improvement, and the development of high-quality products that make a difference.”


1 Hirsch, L., Gibney, M., Berube, J., Manacchio, J. (2012). The impact of a modified needle tip geometry on penetration force as well as acceptability, preference and perceived pain in subjects with diabetes.Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology,  6, 328-335.

2 Zambanini, A., Newson, R.B., Maisey, M., Feher, M.D. (1999). Injection related anxiety in insulin-treated diabetes. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 46, 239-246.

3 Davidson, N.K., Moreland, P. (2012, January 10). Psychological insulin resistance stems from fear. Living with Diabetes Blog, Message posted to 20/05/13).

4 Nam, S., Chesla, C., Stotts, N.A., et al. (2011). Barriers to diabetes management: Patient and provider factors.Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 93, 1-9.

5 Aronson R. (2012) The Role of Comfort and Discomfort in Insulin Therapy. Diabetes  Technology & Therapeutics, 14, 8, 741-747.

6 Speight J, Browne JL, Holmes-Truscotte E, et al on behalf of the Diabetes MILES- Australian reference group (2011).  Diabetes MILES – Australian 2011 Survey Report Diabetes Australia: Canberra

7 National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) Data (April 2013)

8 De Coninck C, Frid A, Gaspar R, et al. (2010). Results and analysis of the 2008-2009 insulin injection technique questionnaire survey,  Journal of Diabetes  2, 168-179.

9 Diabetes Facts – 2012 Australian Diabetes Council May 2012, 20/0513).