Retailers should not switch the brand of diabetes supplies without first informing patients or their healthcare providers, according a recent survey sponsored by Becton Dickinson (BD) of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. The vast majority (90 percent) of doctors and nurses surveyed said that they don’t approve if a retailer changes a syringe from a prescribed brand to a store brand without telling them or the user.
“Switching patients’ medical devices is not the same as switching their medications,” said Vivian Fonseca, MD, director of the Diabetes Program at Tulane University Health Sciences Center, in the survey. “Generic pharmaceuticals are chemically equivalent to brand-name pharmaceuticals. But in the case of diabetes management supplies, the difference between brand-name devices and generics can be significant. If patients are not familiar with the new brand of syringe they’ve been switched to, they’re at risk of compromising control of their blood sugar level.”