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So Long, Syringes: New Insulin Patch Makes It Easier To Manage Diabetes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There's a new option for diabetics who have to give themselves insulin shots every day.

As CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reported, the new insulin patch is easier to use and helps keep blood sugar under tighter control. It's sort of a cross between a skin patch and a mini insulin pump.

Ask most diabetics what they hate most about their condition and they'll probably say it's having to have multiple shots a day – carrying syringes and insulin around, excusing yourself to administer the shots, etc.

Full-time student Barb Kendall was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 10 years ago.

"I was not prepared for it at 40," she said.

She tried to control her blood sugar with pills, because she was terrified of insulin.

"The shots, the vials, the measuring," she said.

But when the day came that she needed insulin, her doctor offered her a patch instead of syringes.

It's called V-Go. After the patient loads it with insulin, it goes on the arm, leg or abdomen like a Band-Aid. A tiny needle inside the patch goes into the skin with the press of a button. It delivers a constant dose of rapid-acting insulin, and depending on finger stick readings, additional insulin can be clicked at meal time.

The patch is changed every 24 hours, and Kendall says it doesn't hurt.

"You sleep in it, you shower in it, you everything in it," she said. "It's just so easy."

V-Go is for people who need multiple insulin injections a day and who might be missing shots.

"There are no batteries, there's no software – nothing for the patients to be bothered with," said Dr. Kamala Rajupet, of Partners in Nephrology & Endocrinology. "The insulin – they're carrying it with them, they don't have to remember to take something else with them wherever they go, it's discrete, it's easy to use."

As soon as Kendall started with the patch, the results were dramatic.

"I can't begin to describe to you how much better I feel," she said. "I don't have to focus on the diabetes. I can focus on my school work. I can focus on getting out and getting more active."

There are also very small electronic insulin pumps, but they can be expensive and a little complicated to master.

This simple device is FDA approved for adults with type 2 diabetes and it's covered by insurance.

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