New box

Why has Lilly put the Humalog vial into a new box?

The bottle has not changed size but the box is a third to a half bigger than the box for their vial insulins has always been.


Although I don’t KNOW why, I have a theory based on experience. I am in pharmacy school and work in a pharmacy. When you open the refrigerator to get a box of insulin out, there are MANY types that are all in the same sized box with the same color of writing on the box. I think they wanted a box to stand out, so it wouldn’t get confused with the other insulins. Although I hate to say it, most of the pharmacy staff, has no idea what the differences are in insulin. Could you imagine someone with a prescription for Humalog receiving Humulin N instead? or vice versa? There are always things being changed to help minimize the potential for mistakes in the pharmacy.

This is just my thoughts on the matter!


That sounds reasonable, but if it is the case, why are the boxes for Humulin N and R still so easy to confuse! The only change there is that they now BOTH have black tops.

I just got my first batch in 3 months and wondered the same thing. My 3 month supply takes up enough space in my refrigerator already! I ended up opening all the boxes and putting 2 bottles in each box so they’d more easily fit.

The same thing happened to my glucometer strips. They recently started putting them in a container that’s double the size of the previous container. While it does make it a little easier to put my fingers in and grab a strip, it takes up way more cupboard space when I get 3 months worth at a time.

Whoops! Just realized my R and N are NOVOLIN not Humulin!


Thanks for your input on this, although I must say that it doesn’t do much to compliment the average “pharmacy staff”…

On the NEW BOX issue I took the straightest shot and called the Eli Lilly Company. After waiting on hold for 19 minutes, I spoke to a very pleasant and very young man. He said that mine was the second call he’d had this morning about this issue.

Apparently the FDA now requires Lilly to include more information / instruction with their insulin products…(that little wad of printed matter that we all immediately throw out.)
The FDA also now requires them to use a larger font on all that print.
They now also have to put the larger box on all of their 10mL Vial insulin products.
It makes me proud to know that the FDA has found something “useful” to do with my tax money.

I hope this answers the question for some and thank you all for the warm welcome.


And don’t forget they raised the price at the same time. Though maybe that’s just in my state.


I definitely was not intending to put down the “pharmacy staff”. It is just not their job to know what the drugs in the pharmacy do. The pharmacist is there to make sure there are no problems with your medication, and that you receive the medicine that the doctor intended you to receive, and answer any questions you may have about the medication.

I don’t have to imagine after reading this article! I always double check things I pick up from the pharmacy. A lot of things look really similar, so mistakes do happen.

My last bottle of Novolin R bought at Wal-Mart was two bucks, or 10% more than it used to be and that older price had already risen over the past year. I started buying the Novolin at Wal-Mart because buying it there without my insurance was $7 cheaper than my insurance copay. Now it’s creeping up to where the difference is not quite $3 so it is not worth the long drive. The cost of the gas is more than the amount of money I’m saving.