With the recent news of Animas closing their doors for good, I watched as many people with T1D and parents of kids with T1D, scrambled to figure out what to do.
There was panic.
There was sorrow.
There was anger.
Understanding that no matter how hard we try to believe otherwise, when it comes to diabetes and the management tools that we all rely on so heavily; diabetes is a business. And businesses operate for profit. Because each business has stockholders to answer to if the business doesn't make a profit, it is cut, stopped, dropped, or even sold.
But no one wanted to buy Animas. I don't know enough about business to venture a guess, but if it needs a business overhaul, if it has a lot of debt, or if it’s not turning the anticipated or expected profit; slash—gone.
My guess is that it will only be a matter of time before more close. It also makes me wonder how the ‘business’ aspect of those CGM-connected-pump systems with so many different names will be profitable, and will they even be affordable, and if they are not affordable—will they even be successful to stockholders.
There are still many who do not utilize an insulin pump. Depending on what you read and where you read it, between 80,000-120,000 people were using an Animas insulin pump. If (average) 100,000 people on an insulin pump is not enough to keep a company in business, how many ARE needed?
I ask because Medtronic has themselves positioned in a very interesting business position. If the ‘hybrid’ system that Medtronic possess does no work out, they can just eliminate that line and continue with the non-hybrid systems,right?
How much are you reliant on these, or any, devices? As long as anything we use is part of a business, there is a chance that one day it can be gone. Animas (insulin pump defunct 2017), Gimbels (department store defunct 1987), Saturn (automobile defunct 2009), and 8-track tapes (recording tapes defunct in 1990 by Radio Shack) are just a few entities that were defunct once it was decided that they were not profitable. Gone.
Now, true, many of these entities were not life-threatening like an insulin pump can be but they all had something in common—one day they were making money and on another, their doors were closed. How ready are you?
It's fairly easy to have a back-up for all of these items,.including an insulin pump. The question is how prepared we make ourselves. If you fall prey to the fact that your diabetes devices are here forever you may want to revisit that thought. Stay educated on what other devices are available and what ways you can administer insulin. What if you aren't ready to administer a shot?
Do not make alternatives to ANYTHING so foreign that you cannot adjust. Be ready. Read. Learn.
When Saturn stopped, we bought a Ford. No big deal…….
With diabetes supplies, this isn't so much the case. I’ve said it a million times—education is the equalizer in the world of diabetes. And for that, there is no cost.
I am a Diabetes Dad.
References for your information: