Commerce Impacts Access to ‘Artificial Pancreas’ for US Patients

A major insulin-pump manufacturer has withdrawn from the US and Canadian markets, while another is experiencing supply and reimbursement problems.

While technology certainly represents the new frontier in diabetes management and there is much positive news, such as the recent US approval of Abbott’s novel FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System, the field is not without its setbacks.

This latest involves the departure of Animas Corporation (a division of Johnson & Johnson) from the North American insulin-pump market, with the firm directing their 90,000 customers over to Medtronic.

At the same time, Medtronic itself is experiencing a supply problem, preventing shipment of the sensor component of its hybrid closed-loop 670G insulin-delivery system (dubbed the first “artificial pancreas”) to new customers, as well as a major insurer’s refusal to cover the system.

And of course, this is all happening against a backdrop of uncertainty regarding the whole US healthcare system and the extent to which people with diabetes and other chronic diseases will be able to obtain sufficient insurance coverage to provide access to advances for treatment in both the near and longer term.

Animas Exits the United States and Canada

Animas announced its decision to discontinue manufacture and sale of both its Vibe and OneTouch Ping insulin pumps in the United States and Canada last week.

“This decision was extremely difficult and comes following an extensive exploration of all viable other options for the Animas business,” the company said in a statement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *