This past Thursday, October 5, 2017, the Diabetes community was rocked by the announcement that Animas Corporation will no longer be manufacturing its insulin pumps, the Animas Vibe and One Touch Ping. The companies decision affects more than 90,000 Animas pump users in the US and Canada. Sale of the pumps world-wide will continue for now. Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) products manufactured by Animas will continue.
Animas partners with Medtronics
Animas will be partnering with Medtronics to switch patients to their pumps instead over a period of time. Animas is assuring patients that they will have the same service for their existing insulin pumps, but in some Type 1 communities, reports are being shared that people have already lost their insulin pump representatives.
I advise reading the following pieces:
What does the announcement mean for pumpers in the diabetes community?
All over Facebook, the Type 1 community is worried, as corporate decisions affect patient decisions, and quality of life. If you go to the Animas website, you will see the announcement, along with important links about the transition, and phone numbers to call Medtronics to discuss your options.
Will there be time before I have to switch my pump to Medtronics?
Animas promises to continue warranty service and support, and to continue to provide all pump supplies needed through the transition. For warranties that go out after September 30, 2019, patients should receive a contact from Medtronics to transfer to their pump, the Medtronics 630G, at no additional cost.
If you have a pump where the warranty expired earlier before September 30, 2019, then Animas says that you are still under their warranty through the transition, and will still have serviced. They say it’s business as usual, and to call the same numbers for pump representatives and service. Medtronics will contact you to transfer to the 630G at no additional cost.
If the warranty for your Animas pump has expired, or is due to expire by December 31, 2017, the company requests that you go to www.medtronicdiabetes.com/Animas , or that you call (855)322-9568 in the United States, or (800) 284-4416 in Canada, in order to talk over your options with a Medtronics representative. You may also call the Animas Customer Care Center at (800) 661-1730 in the United States, or at (800) 552-5925 in Canada.
Will there be other options for me besides a Medtronics insulin pump?
Many people with diabetes seem to be hoping that they will be able to switch to the T-Slim pump, but if you have had your pump a short while, or your insurance company doesn’t cover T-Slim, then likely you will end up with a Medtronics pump for your therapy, whether you like it or not.
What about patient choice?
The insulin pump market has been slimmed down from four choices to three following Thursday’s announcement. We now have the choice of the Medtroinic pump, the Omnipod, or the TSlim. That said, and all insulin pumps not being equal, a person with diabetes gets very attached to these lifesaving devices, and it’s not so easy to make a switch. It’s never optimal when choices for patients get fewer.
What about children with Type 1 Diabetes on insulin pumps?
For those with children with Type 1 Diabetes, often the kids have chosen the pump themselves with the help of parents. They are often professionals themselves at operating their own insulin pumps. Forcing them to switch to a device that they are not familiar with is upsetting to their daily lives.
For families seeking to make this switch for their children with Type 1 Diabetes, seeking out help and support from the new insulin pump company will help to alleviate fears, and reduce stress for your child as you help them make the switch. Telling them what is going on, showing them how to operate the new pump, and then reinforcing their learning as they learn to operate the new pump will also help.
Over to you
How do you feel about Animas’ announcement this past Thursday? If you have an Animas pump, and you are affected by the company’s decision, please share your thoughts in the comment box below.