Late Thursday night, I received a huge shock when a friend forwarded me this press release from Johnson and Johnson. The press released announced that Animas will exit the insulin pump market, effective immediately in the States and Canada. In the meantime, Animas selected Medtronic to help phase out Animas pumps. For more details, check out their press release.
Cue sad face, disbelief, confusion and outrage across the globe. Sadness because Animas has been considered a huge player in the insulin pump business for years. While the Vibe was my first pump, being able to use it as part of my diabetes management plan represents a huge victory and milestone for me. It took years of fighting and arguing with healthcare professionals before I could finally access an insulin pump. Not to mention that along the way, I have made some amazing friends.
And I’m sure I’m not the only one who has sentimental memories and connections with Animas.
There had been rumours from the start of the year that Animas would be going under. Yet I think at the back of our minds, we never expected that it would really happen. People are now left in the lurch especially after pump starts have been scheduled or some have recently only started on an Animas pump.
Many people in the diabetes community are also worried about the monopoly Medtronic appears to have on the insulin pump market. Having a range of choices is not only important for consumers, it drives innovation and competitive prices. While Medtronic was the chosen partner to help phase out Animas, Omnipod and Tandem have offered to help transition those affected onto different pumps.
There has been no confirmation of what will happen with Animas outside the States and Canada. There may be every chance that they will continue to sell and distribute Animas pumps everywhere else. But the wording of the press release doesn’t leave me with much hope
Animas Corporation, one of the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Care Companies, today announced that it intends to discontinue the manufacturing and sale of Animas® Vibe® and OneTouch Ping® insulin pumps, close operations and exit the insulin pump business. – Press Release on 5th October 2017
If Animas does leave the Australia market, the options we have are the Medtronic 640G, MiniMed Veo and Paradigm, Accu-Chek Combo or Cellnovo (for more info about Cellnovo, check out their main website). Hopefully, we will also see more insulin pumps come to the Australian market. As much as I am grateful to have an insulin pump in general, when it comes to health, it’s never a one size fits all approach. There are so many factors to consider when choosing an insulin pump that will fit in with my lifestyle and preferences. (Hint hint to Kaleido and Tandem)