Numerous people around the world are coping with chronic conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) or Inflammatory Bowel Disease and may have to self-administer injectable medication. Some patients experience terrible anxiety when faced with the prospect of an impending needle-based injection. The distress can be so overwhelming that patients sometimes skip doses or simply choose to forego treatment entirely. This non-adherence to a prescribed therapy can cause pre-existing conditions to worsen, putting a patient’s health and life at risk.

Needle anxiety along with needle phobia is quite prevalent and is documented to be experienced by both children and adults.1, 2, 3 Needle anxiety and phobia can result in a host of deleterious consequences, including vaccination non-compliance and avoidance of healthcare.1, 2 In a 2012 survey, 45% of RA patients reported some degree of needle-phobia (8%: extremely, 14%: very, and 23%: somewhat).3 Furthermore, at least 20% of RA sufferers report that they would not consider using a medication that required self-injection.3 Needle anxiety goes beyond physical pain. Some patients dislike the stigma of sickliness associated with needle usage, while others are afraid of not being able to properly self-administer injections. Parents living with children in the household also fear that children may accidentally stumble across a needle-based device and hurt themselves.

Type 2 Diabetes usually requires an injectable treatment with either a GLP-1RA or insulin. However, the potential for pain and discomfort brought on by a needle-based device can cause non-adherence to an injectable therapy, even if diabetic patients have access to advanced needles designed to decrease the size of the needle and pain at the injection site.4 This neglect can result in inadequate glycemic control and increased risk of complications.4 Understanding patient perceptions and challenges, improving education, and setting realistic treatment expectations are all key ingredients that can ultimately help doctors improve their patients’ adherence to medications.

When advanced needle designs provoke trepidation, potentially affecting adherence to medications, needle-phobic individuals need an alternative method to administer their medications. Needle anxiety can prove challenging for practitioners looking to develop treatment plans that their patients will adhere to for the necessary duration. At Portal Instruments, we are developing a needle-free delivery platform that replaces the needle with a safe, fast, and connected device, designed to alleviate the challenges of self-administering biological medicines. This cutting-edge device delivers the medication via a very fine jet to the target site without compromising the pharmaceutical. It is designed to be easy to use and empowers patients to manage their chronic condition interactively. Click here to learn more about this revolutionary device.

 

1 Taddio A et al. “Survey of the prevalence of immunization non-compliance due to needle fears in children and adults.” Vaccine. 2012 Jul 6;30(32):4807-12
2 Wright S, Yelland M, Heathcote K, et al. Fear of needles: nature and prevalence in general practice. Aust Fam Physician. 2009;38:172–176.
3 Zogenix. “Preliminary Findings From Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient Survey Reveal Strong Interest in Needle-Free Self-Injection.” 2012. Accessed Nov 7, 2017. Available at: https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2012/11/13/504649/10012232/en/Preliminary-Findings-From-Rheumatoid-Arthritis-Patient-Survey-Reveal-Strong-Interest-in-Needle-Free-Self-Injection.html
4 Kruger DF, LaRue S, Estepa P. “Recognition of and steps to mitigate anxiety and fear of pain in injectable diabetes treatment.” Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy. 2015;8:49-56.

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