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J&J exits insulin pump business, rival looks to scoop patients

Published on 10/10/17 at 08:30am

Johnson & Johnson’s Animas Corporation will cease business and close operations after the pharma giant could not find a buyer to take it off its hands. The decision from the second largest provider of insulin pumps will see 90,000 customers needing to find a new insulin pump provider.

J&J reached the decision after competition in the market space drove down profit for the company. Last year, its diabetes unit, which also includes LifeScan Inc and Calibra Medical Inc, reported sales of $421 million in the second quarter that represents a 10.6% drop from the same period last year.

“We recognize that patients living with diabetes rely on our products to provide critical care, and we want to reassure them that we will be with them every step of the way throughout this transition,” said Valerie Asbury, General Manager of Animas Corporation. “Our number one priority is ensuring patients have a seamless experience as they transition to Medtronic. For over 30 years, Medtronic has been a global leader in the treatment of those living with diabetes, and we are confident they will provide outstanding support to our patients and their healthcare teams.”

As much as J&J is trying to encourage users to take up Medtronic’s devices, as the current market leader, other companies in the area are not taking this shift to one dominant force in the market lying down. Insulet, a developer of an insulin device that comes in the form of a pod attached to the skin, encouraged users to switch to its own device instead.

The company is offering a “Welcome Program” for Animas users to try its own ‘Omnipod’ device. Bret Christensen, Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are offering this program to help ensure people with diabetes have a choice when it comes to their treatment options”.

The closure of Animas could see its 410 employees lose their position, though those based outside of the US and Canada will see their positions remain for the short-term future.

J&J released a statement suggesting that it does not expect to exit markets outside of the US and Canada immediately, but will undertake a consultation process to determine when it will pull out of further areas.

Ben Hargreaves

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