An Open Letter to the Remaining Insulin Pump Companies

letter insulin pumpsDear Remaining Insulin Pump Companies.

Hi.  In the diabetes community, I’m known by many as DiabetesDad.  I write a column such as this.  My heart belongs to my two children who have diabetes.  My heart belongs to the world around us who are on this diabetes journey.  Many people have diabetes.  Many have a child, or two, or three (or more) who live with this disease.

Many of us, have our ear to the ground.  We hear things.  We don’t know for sure, we’re just living our lives.  If you are with an insulin pump company, chances are you are a family person too.  You love your family and do not want any harm coming to them.

Neither do we.

It was announced that Animas is closing their doors. Sad as this is,  it happens in business sometimes and we understand that aspect of this world.  We have watched other diabetes companies over the years close their doors too.  The 100,000 plus people on an Animas pump must now look elsewhere for an insulin pump.  They will be looking for a new pump, they may be looking to you and your company.

We are just parents.  We are just people who live with this disease.  You are the corporate mavens in this world.  Deep down inside, you really know how soluble your company is.  The hardship of taking our child off one pump and putting them on another is excruciating.  No one likes change.  Our children will look to us and know that we are doing what is right for them.  But we do not know everything…………………………….

………so as a parent, I’m asking, pleading, begging to ask you to look inside your heart. If you have a gut feeling that your insulin pump company will not be here in the near future——please let us know.  Be honest, this is our children’s lives..  I ask every parent who is s presently on an Animas Insulin Pump and will have to switch to another pump company, no matter who that company is, demand a message from their highest ranking official what they believe the future of their company to be.  Let them know how painful this is and that you do not want to go through it again a few months down the line…….ask them to be honest with you.

Then choose your new insulin pump company wisely.  We are not stockholders, we are people.  Our future, and the lives of our children, are in your hands.  What will you tell us?

We are sorry to see Animas go…….we trust, as parents yourselves, you will not steer us wrong.  God Bless you.

I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

 

Animas Insulin Pumps Going Out of Business

Animas 1I received the announcement listed below earlier today.
It is very straightforward.
It gives information what to do next.
Yes, it really sucks.

From Bridget Kimmel at Animas
I wanted you to be among the first to hear about some important news that was issued early this morning announcing our intention to shut down the Animas Corporation. This decision was extremely difficult and comes following the extensive exploration of all other viable options for the Animas business. With changing needs of customers, rapidly evolving market dynamics, and increased competitive pressures, it proved too difficult to sustain the insulin pump and glucose management delivery business. Patient care is our top priority, and we will work with our preferred partner, Medtronic, or our patients’ manufacturer of choice, to facilitate a seamless insulin delivery system transition. Patients can find more information at www.animaspatientsupport.com. We are incredibly grateful to our patients and health care partners for the trust, confidence and loyalty they have placed in Animas products over the last 21 years.

Take a breath, you will get through this……..one step at a time.
For whatever it’s worth…..Medtronic is not the only game in down….Of late, many people are looking at Insulet’s Omipod.

I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

 

NEWSBREAK: Medtronic’s Hybrid Closed Loop NOW FDA Approved.

medtronic-hybridclosedloopsystemExactly as reported from Med Page today
‘Bionic Pancreas’ OK’d
First-ever approval for a closed loop insulin delivery system
 
·         by John Gever 
Managing Editor, MedPage Today
09.28.2016
WASHINGTON — A closed-loop insulin delivery system, combining a continuous glucose monitoring device with an insulin pump, was approved for U.S. marketing Wednesday, the FDA announced.
Medtronic’s MinMed 670G hybrid system is the first such device to be approved, the agency said. It is indicated for patients age 14 and older with type 1 diabetes requiring at least 8 units of insulin daily.
“This first-of-its-kind technology can provide people with type 1 diabetes greater freedom to live their lives without having to consistently and manually monitor baseline glucose levels and administer insulin,” said Jeffrey Shuren, MD, JD, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in a statement announcing the decision.
A required post-marketing study will examine how well the product works in “real-world settings,” the agency noted.
The system delivers basal insulin in amounts adjusted according to blood glucose levels detected with the continuous monitor, with “little or no input from the user,” the FDA said. Glucose levels are measured every 5 minutes.
Patients still need to manually request postprandial insulin doses to cope with carbohydrates eaten at meals, the agency noted.
Data from a trial with 123 participants underpinned the approval. Patients used it for 3 months; no serious adverse events such as severe hypoglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis were seen.
Nevertheless, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can still occur with the device, the FDA said. Skin irritation at the site of the infusion patch is also possible.
Medtronic is currently testing the system in children 7-13 years old with an eye toward securing approval in that age group.
—end article

WOW!!!!!  A new age in management devices has begun……amen and AMEN!!!!
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

CGMs…a Few Points….Parents: We have NO Clue what Our Kids Feel About Nightime Lows!

 

CGMs.  Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) are fabulous devices.  They not only remotely give you an idea on your blood glucose number they also indicate where one is trending (blood sugar rising and/or dropping).

The new Dexcom G4 Platinum looks to be a modern, thinner, easier to read, and more accurate CGM.  The Dexcom website states it is the lightest one out there at 2.4 ounces and also the signal can go three times further.

Kaitlyn had not heard that it was approved and from what I am looking at, it sure could be another great asset in Rob and Kaitlyn’s diabetes toolbox. 

I do believe that all CGMs should also have what Medtronic has created in their mySentry device.  This device can sit on your bed stand and alert you should your child’s blood glucose runs low.  It comes with bells and whistles to alert you in the middle of the night.  This device is an incredible asset and not just for the parents.  When Medtronic flew a bunch of us out to their HQ to see this device, it was a highlight for me to witness.  We were informed that people living with T1 as adults could plop this puppy right on their night stand to warn them as well.  What a godsend this device is to everyone.  I felt very naive when I learned from Kaitlyn just how much a low blood sugar during sleep plays on the minds of those with diabetes.  I asked  a million questions…..PARENTS: WE HAVE NO CLUE.  What we feel is NOTHING compared to what people with diabetes feel.  What a lesson she gave me–our fears pale in comparison to their fears. We just have no clue. 

All CGM companies need this type of device……get to work folks.  🙂

When dealing with CGMs–I still believe the best-selling point to our kids is that even though one should not dispense insulin based on the CGM readings (it is a technicality that is required for all companies to say as their accuracy is not as exact as the blood glucose meters that are not as exact as perfect as they should be if accuracy is to be exact….did you get all that?–in other words it is a disclaimer—Based on a comment from Tia–you can read her comment below–I need to add the following:  It is not ‘merely’ a disclaimer–it is a disclaimer for an absolute reason.  One should not dispense insulin based upon a CGM reading and I am not inferring anyone should…ever; until such time that they are as accurate as they need to be to dispense insulin–thank you Tia)–they will feel better in their day-to-day dealings. Mainly because of the incredible trending mechanism in CGMs that allow the individual to actually know they are running low or high BEFORE they actually feel it.

So when speaking to your kids—-let them know the CGM is an asset to make them feel better without the wide swings, THAT is the point to make.  Of course there are always exceptions to the rule.

CGMs are now a ‘must carry’ item for insurance coverage in NY State (thank you NY State Assmblyman Bob Sweeney—a POWERHOUSE in diabetes legislation) and check what this means in every state because there are restrictions how insurance coverage works for this device.

When Kaitlyn was diagnosed in 1992, these items were a pipe-dream.  Use them…..a dream becoming a reality is a good thing…..until we find that cure.

I’m a diabetesdad