Commerce Impacts Access to ‘Artificial Pancreas’ for US Patients

JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), decried the move, saying in a statement “JDRF is extremely concerned that Animas Corporation will be closing operations and ending the sale of its insulin pumps, as it means fewer treatment options for people with type 1 diabetes….Innovation and competition are essential to the development of next-generation therapies.”

Patients currently using Animas pumps and supplies will continue to receive support and supplies through a transition period, and warranties will be honored through September 30, 2019.

Those with pump warranties expiring on or after that date will be contacted by Medtronic and offered the option to transfer to that company’s 630G sensor-augmented pump system (not the 670G hybrid closed-loop system) at no cost.

Patients and providers can also check the Animas website for more information.

Of course, patients aren’t obligated to switch to Medtronic, and competitors including Tandem Diabetes and Insulet are both offering special arrangements to draw in current Animas users. In the case of the latter, Insulet is offering a no-cost trial of its tubeless insulin-pump Omnipod System.

Artificial-Pancreas Sensor Supplies Not Meeting Current Demand

Demand has been so high for the Medtronic 670G, dubbed the first “artificial pancreas” when it was approved by Food and Drug Administration in September 2016, that Medtronic was already struggling to keep up with supply of the system’s continuous glucose monitor (CGM) component when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, damaging a key Medtronic plant located there, Mike Hill, vice president, marketing, global integrations, said in a statement provided to Medscape Medical News.

“Our main priority is the safety of our employees who live on the island as well as our customers who rely on our therapies for the management of their diabetes….Our facility is returning to full production, and our teams are working around the clock to produce new products as quickly as possible,” Mr. Hill said.

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