Pelikan Sun was the 'Cadillac' of diabetes lancing systems — with everything that implies: excellent performance, a high-end chassis, yet expensive and impractical for most people. But for some (especially parents of type 1 kids) it was a life-altering product: a way to prick your finger a dozen times a day without feeling a thing!

When the company went out of business a few months ago, I started referring people to the Renew Lancing system instead. It wasn't electronic, but used a disk/cartridge system and tiny needles that were as realistically 'painless' as anything I'd seen for diabetes yet.

Then the Renew was pulled off the market, too.  For those of us who could really benefit from this technology: {insert expletive}!!

A lot of folks have shot me emails, asking where these great lancing systems have gone, and why?

You will not be surprised that it all comes down to money.  It seems there just isn't enough of a market for less-painful ways to poke yourself — i.e. not a priority for insurers to reimburse, or for enough patients to put up a fight, and/or pay for out-of-pocket.

Innovation 2015

One reader forwarded me the following email response they received:

 

 

 

Dear Mr. and Ms. XX:

 

I wish I had some disks to send, but our distributors shipped all their inventory by the end of last year.  All of us at Pelikan are sorry that we discontinued the Pelikan Sun so abruptly.

We discontinued the Pelikan Sun but did not go out of business.  As a small, private corporation we didn't have the resources to support the Pelikan Sun while also developing a new product.  Part of the decision to discontinue the Pelikan Sun included restructuring the company, so hopefully that will enable us to produce a replacement product with the same low-pain lancing technology but which is more reliable and more useful.

I can't predict the timeline for a new product, mostly because it depends on the success of our restructuring.  Medical devices such as this usually have an 18- to 24-month cycle time, so we don't have an announcement pending.  Please keep an eye on our web page for announcements about the company and new products.

Sincerely,

T.S.

Pelikan Technologies Service Team

 

 

 

Apparently the business plan behind Pelikan was to get the lancing technology integrated into a best-selling meter family, or some kind of all-in-one product. But this never got off the ground. The stand-alone product was too large and clunky for portability, and too expensive, especially for just 15 tests per cartridge. Ugh.

So of course I started nosing around to find out what's left in pain-free lancing devices. According to my sources, not much.

Several people mentioned the new OneTouch Delica Lancing System from LifeScan, which I announced here. According to industry observer Kelly Close, who's been playing with one, "it's not as painless as the Pelikan Sun was but MUCH easier to carry around, and I do think it's a big improvement over the last OneTouch model. I can't tell why ... but it feels a little less painful. I don't think it is revolutionary, but for sure evolutionary, and I'll take it!"

Other than that, it seems it comes down to shopping for the tiniest needles you can use and still get enough blood.  Kelly likes the 33 gauge BD lancets, which are available for purchase at Target.

Remember that standard lancets are 30 gauge, which is bigger; the higher the gauge number, the smaller the needle.  If you're sensitive enough to draw sufficient blood with a really teeny needle, try the new TiniBoy 36 gauge lancets.  These are also 1/3 the length and diameter of regular needles, making them the smallest lancets available, via mail order at  www.tiniboy.com.

I wish I had more for you, but that's all on the Best of Lancets for now, Friends.

 

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This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.