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Lilly: Glucagon Spray – Baqsimi
November 20, 2020 / Family and diabetes / Technology / Child / Type 1

Lilly: Glucagon Spray – Baqsimi

12 min read

 This text is written by a person who has been able to give a glucagon injection to a half-dead person with diabetes, this is what is given when the sugar is dramatically low, i.e. when a person is in a diabetic coma.  Not at all pleasant experience, which is rewarded by the fact that the glucagon injection needs to be prepared in such a way that the injection is first inserted into the bottle, then mixed, then back into the syringe and then injected into a half-dead person.  This should be done as quickly and skillfully as possible while the terrified team is panting behind your neck.


 Baqsimi – welcome to this world!


 As the title makes clear, Lilly managed to make glucagon into a fine powder that is given to an unconscious person through the nose via a simple miniature inhaler!  If you know any asthmatic, you’ve probably already come across something similar for oral use: 


Photo: asthma inhaler on the left, diabetes inhaler in the middle 🙂

 Shortly after learning that the U.S. Regulatory Agency (FDA) had approved this miracle, I contacted several U.S. diabetologists for an opinion.  THEY WERE EXCITED!  They said they write prescriptions en-masse and that everyone who has type 1 diabetes must have this latest marvel of technology and pharmacy with them!  Smart enough.

 Lilly at the EASD conference in Barcelona

 And then let someone say that conferences are nonsense.  With just a little effort, it is possible to reach important people who know everything.  They were open even to me who had Press Accreditation.  The press is mostly afraid of everyone, they close their mouths and push the business card of the person in charge of “communication with the media”.

What interesting thing did Aunt Lilly say at the EASD in Barcelona?

 The development of Baqsimi started back in 1999, exactly twenty years ago!  It is a very simple disposable inhaler that contains a dose of 3 mg of powder.  Let’s repeat, it has already been officially approved by the strictest regulatory agency, the American one – the FDA.

 If you also fall into a hypoglycemic coma with a cold, with sneezing – Baqsimi can still be pumped neatly!

 When does Baqsimi nasal glucagon come to Europe?

 The documentation for Baqsimi has been duly submitted to the European Regulatory Agency (EMA).  While no one can reliably say when the EMA will respond, they expect approval by the end of 2019!  Given that it is a public secret that the EMA will approve something from the (too) strict FDA much sooner, it is realistic to expect that in the next Family Camp of the Zagreb Diabetes Society, we will have this technology available at least for our children!  Admittedly, if we had Baqsimi at the Family Camp this year, we wouldn’t have been able to test it because no one has fallen into a coma this year.  

Baqsimi is approved for children 4 years and older, but if someone crashes at 3 years old – I believe we won’t have a war over the date of birth.

 How much does it cost?

 You will be shocked by the information that in American pharmacies the price of just one dose of nasal glucagon Baqsimi is as much as HRK 1,876 ($ 280), but with their health insurance the price drops to HRK 167 (of course, if you have health insurance at all).  Fortunately, thanks to the “Insulins in the United States” affair, we know very well that the American health care system is deeply disturbed, so we should wait for the recent development of events and prices in Europe.  Then we’ll be smarter.



 It will be a huge challenge to put Baqsimi by inhaling glucagon on the CHIF’s list of medicines, considering that the one “on the needle” is currently financed by the CHIF with 114 kn.  Such a low price is great for healthcare finances, but the fact is that manually diluted glucagon technology is old and it will be difficult to insert something newer, simpler, but also more expensive.

photo: CHIF’s basic list of drugs

Perhaps a study that showed that most medical experts, let alone we “improvisers”, do not know how to properly “mix and inject” the old version of glucagon.


Good luck to us.

Davor Skeledzija Read more posts by this author
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