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From Lynchburg, Virginia, USA:

Is there a "Lemon Law" or other source of support to help people who have purchased faulty or unreliable medical equipment?

My daughter, 7, has had Type 1 diabetes since the age of 2. She has developed severe lipoatrophy at her injection sites despite being on Human Insulin and rotating her injection sites. With the help of her specialist, we acquired a needleless insulin injector a little over a year ago. The hope is that the injector will help slow or stop further atrophy. The injector has a 2-year warranty.

Here is our problem. As of last week, the injector nozzle has malfunctioned for the third time in the last 7 months. The tiny orifice in the nozzle apparently is made from a crystal. The crystal either breaks, or loosens somehow, resulting in one or more streams of ejected insulin at various angles. I called the manufacturer and complained that I feel our injector is not reliable and that instead of repairing it for the third time, I would like it replaced with a new unit, and with a new warranty. I was told that I would receive a call back from the company within a day or so. After waiting a week, I called again only to receive a recording indicating that the company had been sold and identifying a new number to call. I called the new number and was told that nothing can be done at least until next week because the company that bought the previous manufacturer is not ready to handle their business yet.

I now have several concerns:

  1. The new company may not honor the original warranty.
  2. Instead of replacing the injector, the new company might insist on repairing the injector again and again and again until the warranty expires, at which time they will begin charging for the repairs.

The injector was almost $800.00 and should last years without any problems. It should not need to be repaired multiple times each year.


I would work with the doctor who prescribed the device, and ask for assistance. Perhaps he or she could call the company. There is a voluntary medical products reporting program of the Food and Drug Administration, called MedWatch. Your doctor could contact this program. The telephone number for information is 1-800-FDA-1088.


[Editor's comment: I am familiar with the company that made the jet injector that you use, and have spoken on the telephone with the president of the company that bought the jet injector business. Based on my discussion, I think you should give the new company another call and politely explain your experiences and your need for a new product. Any time one company buys another, there is always confusion for a while. JSH]

Original posting 5 Jun 1998
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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