Question to members with diabetes. How many insulin pump users are there in your country?

insulin pumps
John D asked:

We are a patient group of diabetics using insulin pumps. We are trying to persuade the UK Government to put more resources behind insulin pump therapy in the UK. We fall way behind in the use of medical technology compared to the rest of Europe and the USA.

I am trying to establish how many diabetics use insulin pumps to treat their diabetes throughout the world. Any information would be gratefully received

9 Comment(s)

  1. On Jan 24, 2009, Jane S said:

    I use novamix pens but would love to be on a pump but my doctor says no

  2. On Jan 25, 2009, english_rose10 said:

    i’m a british diabetic, have never been offered the pump and to be honest dont really fancy it much. I would prefer money to go into research for transplants, then i wouldn’t need to jab all the time.

  3. On Jan 27, 2009, jesse s said:

    Approximately 10 out of every 1000 diabetics. My husband is a pump user. The doctors don’t even know what they are around here.

  4. On Jan 27, 2009, Doris D said:

    I do and after my daughter has her baby she will too. My Dr. recommend the pump 18 years ago then I went through a pancreas trans plant rejected and went back on the pump and wont have it any other way!

  5. On Jan 31, 2009, cate said:

    Very few in Liverpool, primarily due to lack of funding. Those that are accepted have to be put forward by 2 Consultants and have some exceptional reason for needing a pump.
    The last patient we had started on a pump was pregnant and finding it impossible to control her blood sugars any other way.

  6. On Feb 1, 2009, BRUCE D said:

    In the US there are approximately 200,000 insulin pump users with around 10,000 being type 2 diabetics. If you consider that there’s a estimated 20.8 million diabetics and up to 10% are type 1, that means .091+% of type 1′s use an insulin pump. I don’t know how many type 2′s are insulin dependent, but I’m sure more than 10,000 would benefit from using an insulin pump. There are several problems. One is cost. With the pump itself being $6000 and then the monthly costs that can be up to $200 a month, unless you have great insurance…and usually diabetes and great insurance don’t go together. Then there’s the problem with doctors. Many people see their primary care physician who treats their diabetes. They’re unlikey to be up to date on diabetes treatments…not just pumps, but in newer insulin regimines. If you can’t be on a pump you should at least be using Multiple Daily Injections, MDI. I’m always astonished to hear of all the people who are still using the old two injections, feed the lows, roller coaster insulin treaments! Many doctors believe that pumps are for people who are really insulin sensitive or brittle, or only for those who way out of control. Some want you to be in good control! It’s crazy! Good luck on your quest. I have a diabetic friend in the UK and Iknow that it’s not easy to get one.

  7. On Feb 4, 2009, micksmixxx said:

    NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence, or National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, as it is now known) have for years now been advocating the use of CSII (Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion) systems as an option for Type 1 diabetics “where MDI (multiple dose insulin) has failed”, and “those receiving the treatment have the committment and competence to use the therapy effectively.” ( – a pdf file)

    The following pdf file indicates, to me, as well as others, that cost shouldn’t be a deterrent. Take a look and see what you feel. (

    I have spoken with my own MP (Tom Watson – West Bromwich East) (a few years ago now) that I was concerned that I was being financed for pump use, yet didn’t believe that it was widely available for other diabetics who might benefit from it. (As it happens, I was the first pump user in Sandwell, and, even now I believe there are fewer than 20 patients (in the area) currently using pumps. Admittedly, when I was first issued with a pump, financing was a ‘grey area’, and I was unsure as to whether I would be able to continue using it due to the fact that I wasn’t working, and could, iin no way, afford the ongoing costs involved. Happily, this was resolved.)

    Even now, when I’m admitted to hospital, my pump is usually removed as doctors there are unsure of its operation. This means me going onto the hospital’s own ‘protocol’ of pumped insulin and glucose. As I’m sure you’re aware, changing between various systems often causes ‘problems’ with the body’s need to adapt. It’s usually not until I’ve been seen my own diabetologist/endocrinologist that I’m allowed to go back onto my pump, and back to my own method of controlling my diabetes. I’m sure you’ll agree, if you’ve had anything like the experiences I have, that you feel more confident with controlling your own sugars than allowing others, who’ve little or no experience in dealing with diabetes themselves to ‘take over’.

    I wish you the very best of luck in your endeavours.

  8. On Feb 4, 2009, ang-pogi-ko said:

    I don’t know of anyone here in the Philippines, most likely because of its high cost.

    Even if i am given the opportunity to have one i don’t think i will. The daily insulin shots is already routine, already a habit. It has kept me going for a long time now so why break the habit. i even asked my doctor about the new pump applicator by Pfizer and he said no to it.

  9. On Feb 6, 2009, Cathy :) said:

    I use an insulin pump (in the uk) – it took years of asking to get, and it took about a year after they said I could have one for all these ridiculously repetitive carb counting courses etc. and heaps of excuses! We have to really prove that we have a serious problem with other insulins (esp. lantus and detimer) – I had a bad problem with my morning blood sugars, think that analogue insulins make heaps of peoples blood sugars so up and down, and the brilliant hospital advice I was given on this was “just don’t check your blood sugars between meals” – that’s absolutely nuts, esp. if it’s making you feel unwell!!!

    There is so much evidence that pumps are the best form of diabetes control for many people, and they are really common in most countries – this is something that the government is getting so wrong.

    The cost of a pump is apparently the reason why they are unavailable, but pumps are better value for money for the government – I’m only 22 but have already spent a year out of work and uni and on incapacity benefit with an illness that I should have recovered from in a few weeks – I’m sure that if my diabetes had been better controlled when I was ill I would have recovered heaps faster – saving the government heaps on benefits and appointments with specialist doctors.

    Not only that but a pump can dramatically improve your quality of life – I used to have at least one hypo a day and feel tired and sick all morning with high blood sugars that I just couldn’t get right on lantus. Now I can actually concentrate in the mornings at university, and my grades have improved. Diabetes also commonly causes depression – I know several parents of children with diabetes who have depression; not to mention other potential long term health problems. The NHS spend thousands of pounds giving people cosmetic surgery and even sex changes so that they feel that they have a better quality of life, but leave us sick and struggling with blood sugars when a solution is possible – it’s not right.

    Pumps are getting more accessible slowly, but there are major differences between health boards (I very seriously considered moving city to get one). Basically in my experience you either need to self fund (I worked 2 jobs as well as university and had saved about half the money when they finally said I could have a pump on the NHS), or you have to prove that you have exceptional reasons for needing one.

    As you can see this is something I feel really strongly about – I am really glad to hear about your campaign – please get in touch and let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

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