Costs are higher? My syringe copay has shot way up is part of why I'm considering it.
When I spoke to somebody from Activa on the phone, she said annual costs are mostly determined by how many vials of insulin you use, because you need to buy vial adapters- one per vial. 4 vial adapters are $38.
I use 8 vials of Regular per year. I figure if I stop using syringes to inject Regular (at 3 shots of Regular per day, $0.20 per syringe, and 365 days per year, that's $219 dollars per year- insurance has me pay $50 quarterly if I use 3 or more syringes per day, so $200 per year), and my only ongoing cost is vial adapters (at $78 per year) then I have an annual savings of over a hundred dollars.
For me to use Lantus in a jet injector would cost money because I currently use only 8-10 units of Lantus per day and I live in the US, where Lantus is only available in 1000 unit vials and 300 unit pens, making pens a significantly better investment, and the jet injector doesn't work with pen vials.
So if you're in the situation of using 3 shots per day of short acting insulin, at an annual cost of syringes of $219 (whoever pays) or more if you use pens, then the jet injector has a lower annual cost if the only cost is vial adapters and you use no more than 23 vials per year (which is to say, about 63 units per day- I don't come close to that).
If you use 2 shots per day of short acting, the needles are costing $146 per year, so you'd need to use 15 or fewer vials per year (that's 41 units per day) to be saving money.
If you've been taking 4 shots per day of short acting, the needles are costing $292 per year, and you'd have to take more than 30 vials per year (82 units per day) to not be saving money.
It's true that if you use the jet to replace only one shot per day, then for it to save you money you'd have to use very few vials and they'd probably expire in that time anyways.
I have not included shipping and handling in my analysis; this cost obviously is at least partially dependent on where you live and how many sets you order at a time.
So annual cost is less than syringes or pen needles as long as the jet injector is replacing at least at least two shots per day and the person does not use a very large quantity of vials. I think a lot of type 1 diabetics fall into that category in terms of number of shots per day of short acting insulin and volume of insulin used.
And activa really seems to be aiming for the market of people using smaller amounts of insulin anyways; it allows dosing quarter units.
Activa is the only one of the companies in Mendosa's article that is still selling jet injectors to private individuals (I wrote to the companies whose websites didn't make that clear). The price is up at $695 and there is a waiting list to get one. It seems to me that the initial price is fairly large and insurance companies may figure that you have to use one for years- without breaking it- for them to see that investment pay off.