Lanreotide: Ipsen injection devices vs generic injection devices

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Whenever I get a chance to talk to a pharma involved in somatostatin analogue injection devices, I tell them one very important thing …… “To the patient, the injection delivery is almost as important as the drug”.  I also add that my opinion is based on thousands of comments about the patient experience in my patient online group.  

My own experience is based on the use of Sandostatin Acetate (Octreotide) daily shots (the ones where you break an ampule open and suck the drug into the syringe etc).  I was pleased to see some later developments in this area such as the BYNFEZIA PEN.  However, the use of octreotide daily shots was a short-term solution to prepare me for surgery and this was followed by monthly somatuline autogel (Lanreortide) which I have been prescribed since December 2010 after major surgery.  First using the model with the slightly flimsy plunger device followed by the much improve current device which I will describe going forward as the “Somatuline Autogel syringe”. 

Just be aware that Ipsen are currently developing a much-improved device called an “Electronic Autojector” which is based on a battery-operated device kept at home and the drug is contained in a regularly supplied cartridge which is inserted into the battery-operated device kept at home.  I will be reviewing whether to move to self-inject once I see this new system in action.  Read more about this project by clicking here

What are generic drugs?


Companies take out exclusive rights called patents on each new drug they discover. If a company has a patent on a drug, only that company can market it under their brand name once it’s been granted a licence.

Once the patent expires, other manufacturers can market generic versions. The generic versions will be the same as the branded medicine because they contain the same active ingredients.

Many medicines have at least 2 different names:

  • the brand name – created by the pharmaceutical company that made the medicine
  • the generic name – the name of the active ingredient in the medicine

For example, lanreotide is the generic name. Somatuline Autogel (or Depot) is the brand name.  So, if a company makes a generic version, it will still be called lanreotide but the brand name will be different. e.g. Cipla Lanreotide in USA or e.g. MYTOTAC or MYRELEZ in Euorpe (see below).

Novartis’s Sandostatin has been around for a lot longer than Somatuline and has many generic brands on the market. 

However, Ipsen’s patient for lanreotide expired in 2015 and some generics are now starting to be deployed.

Read more about generic somatostatin analogues by clicking here

Does the delivery device matter?

Yes!  See the introduction to the post.  My patient group has dozens of comments from disgruntled patients who have had a different delivery device forced upon them which some claim is causing anxiety and, in some cases, additional pain. 

Many patients self-inject Lanreotide and therefore some thought must be given to the logistics and the ergonomics involved via syringe design and ease of use. Moreover, the same factors must be considered in nurse/third party administered injections.  Pharmas who produce patented or generic versions must list this as a major factor. 

Do those who carry out injections have a view?

I was interested to read this study published in August 2023.  Two lanreotide delivery systems were compared by Nurses.  The two devices were the current Ipsen device (Somatuline Autogel syringe) and another device which the study labelled as the Lanreotide Pharmathen syringe. The latter, based on the description in this study appears to the device used by Advanz Pharma (MYTOLAC, MYRELEZ) in Europe and by Cipla in US.  In fact, MYTOLAC is cited within the study documentation. 

The results are very interesting.  The study concluded that Nurses strongly preferred the user experience of the Somatuline Autogel syringe over the Lanreotide Pharmathen syringe (86% vs 14%). “Ease of use” and “comfortable to handle” were the most important syringe attributes, and performance rating was significantly higher with Somatuline Autogel versus Lanreotide Pharmathen syringe for all but one attribute (of the 11 attributes tested). 

You can read the study in detail here:

An international simulated-use study to assess nurses’ preferences between two lanreotide syringes for patients with neuroendocrine tumours or acromegaly (PRESTO 3) | Journal of Endocrinological Investigation (

Patient provided pictures

The Somatuline Injection syringe – picture from Ronny Allan
Lanreotide Pharmathen syringe (picture provide by a NET patient)
What the next Ipsen injection device might look like - click the picture to find out


I am not a doctor or any form of medical professional, practitioner or counsellor. None of the information on my website, or linked to my website(s), or conveyed by me on any social media or presentation, should be interpreted as medical advice given or advised by me. 

Neither should any post or comment made by a follower or member of my private group be assumed to be medical advice, even if that person is a healthcare professional.   

Please also note that mention of a clinical service, trial/study or therapy does not constitute an endorsement of that service, trial/study or therapy by Ronny Allan, the information is provided for education and awareness purposes and/or related to Ronny Allan’s own patient experience. This element of the disclaimer includes any complementary medicine, non-prescription over the counter drugs and supplements such as vitamins and minerals.

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