Animas Corporation intends to exit its insulin pump business and discontinue production
Recently, Animas Corporation announced they will no longer be producing insulin pumps. Diabetes is a chronic health condition that can require frequent attention and care to keep symptoms under control. For those with diabetes, insulin pumps provide an essential tool to manage their health, and as Animas has been a major provider of these pumps, this news of exit from the insulin pump business has been met with much surprise and disappointment.
Insulin pumps, offered by Animas and other companies, are small devices worn externally with a fine tube connected to the body to provide insulin through a continuous infusion. This type of delivery helps maintain a more standard glucose level for patients with diabetes, as opposed to daily injections or other traditional treatments. They are often proclaimed as one of the better innovations in care for those living with diabetes.
This decision has drawn concerns from many within the diabetes community. Many worry about the loss of competition in the market, which could impact prices and availability of pumps. Some question if the quality of existing pumps will be impacted by reduced competition in research and development. It is true that other companies remain in the insulin pump business, but Animas had an extensive presence in this market.
At this time it is unknown whether Animas will switch its focus to another product line or exit the medical device industry entirely. Patients would like ongoing support for current users and assurance that replacement devices will still be available. It may take some time before the full implications of this decision are known and answered satisfactorily.
On Wednesday, Animas Corporation announced its intention to exit the insulin pump business and discontinue production of its medical devices. This news comes after over a decade of Animas pumping products serving the diabetes community.
The Animas Corp is owned by Johnson & Johnson and has been one of the four insulin-device manufacturers in the world. Their decision to drop out of diabetes supplies could create an unsettled market for patients looking for replacement pumps as it is estimated that about 600,000 Americans are currently using an Animas pump. Currently, customers have been advised by Animas to talk to their physicians, as well as look into other manufacturers in the area.
According to Johnson & Johnson, the “shift in strategy is a strategic decision” and is meant to support the “corporation’s needs and long-term growth plans.”
Patients who are elderly or facing financial hardships may be particularly affected and not feel they can easily switch over a different company under such difficult circumstances. With ever-changing technology, people who use insulin pumps must consider whether switching could provide them with better health outcomes that include greater convenience, accuracy, and cost savings. Patients could even consider lower priced open source technology if available.
In response to the news, many have voiced their dissatisfaction on social media: “#RIPAnimas” was trending and various protest petitions were started in order to contest the company’s decision with hopes of reversing it. Customer service teams from Animas Corp have attempted to provide more solid answers for individuals looking for options through their social media accounts—but questions still remain as to how this transition will affect those relying on their products.
It is unclear what with implications this behavior will bring to other insulin pump manufacturers — and whether such trends may grow in other markets — however, the Animas Corporation’s withdrawal should serve as a reminder that customers must diligently pay attention market shifts when selecting their own medical devices in case they experience a similar situation in the future.