Animas, We are Heartbroken

Animas is closing

Johnson and Johnson announced on September 5th of 2017  that they were closing the doors on their insulin pump division in Canada and the US.  Animas Insulin Pumps would be no more. Animas insulin pumpers in North America were heartbroken.

While some saw it coming in the corporate rumour mill, others were blindsided.

Animas had done something that many companies in many industries are striving to do…they had  created a feeling that you were family.  Whether you were an Animas insulin pumper or you used another brand, you had probably attended an Animas event and were treated royally.

The employees with Animas all seemed to genuinely care about you.  They checked in on you and took the time to know your family.  I had the pleasure to work closely with many members of the Animas family over the years.  They will be huge assets for the next company that employs them. I am sure that many of them are just as saddened as we are.

This is not the first time that an insulin pump company has closed its doors.  We have been here before…twice.

Cozmo (personally a pump like no other) closed its doors in 2009.  We still have two in my son’s closet.  I have friends who still wear this as their pump of choice.  It is doable even 8 years later.

Most recently, Asante, a pump revered by many who tried it,  was also forced to step away from the insulin pump market.  Their users were devastated.  They were heartbroken and felt lost–just like Animas insulin pumpers are feeling today.

What do I do next?

Take things one step at a time.  The great thing about insulin pumps is that, while some have quirks, many are pretty sturdy and last.  If you have more than one pump in your house–usually because one was out of warranty and you purchased a new one right away “just in case”, relax.  If for some reason, your current pump stops functioning, go back on your old one while you decide which pump to try next! Just make sure to write down those settings and keep them in a safe place.

How long do I have before I can’t get supplies?

You don’t have  to stockpile supplies   You don’t have to run out and buy a new insulin pump tomorrow.  The Animas press release stated that warranties will continue to be honoured until September 2019. Cartridges will be be available until that date as well.

Statements from both Animas and Medtronic note that supplies will still be able to be ordered in the same way as before. Nothing changes, except when your Animas pump stops working, you will not be able to purchase a new one.

Thank you…

So while we take a breath and rethink our next steps…our next pump…our next option, I want to take a moment and say thank you.  Thank you to the men and women who worked so hard to make Animas a different company.  I truly appreciated getting to know so many of you.  You brought us a new experience in caring.  I hope that we meet again soon, with a new company perhaps bringing new options in diabetes care.

Options are the most important thing.  Make sure to always know your options and always choose the option that works best for you and your lifestyle.

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5 thoughts on “Animas, We are Heartbroken”

  1. We have always had a medtronic pump. I knew a guy who switched to Medtronic because he wanted to use the cgms. It wasn’t even that good when it first came out. The new pump that adjusts the basal for you is blowing the competition out of the water anyway. Competition is not necessarily good! Look at the high, high costs of American private healthcare insurance as an example. Yeah, there is competition all right: People are crossing the Canadian border and buying their insulin here without a prescription because it is literally hundred of dollars cheaper than in the U.S. Canada and the provinces to some extent have ended the corporate rip-off by fixing a maximum price that consumers have to pay. Ditto the competitive American healthcare market: beds sit empty, MRI cllnics are empty because of the competition from other hospitals and clinics next door. Managed care lowers costs. Of course, when you have governments that don’t care about their citizens you do have over-crowded hospitals, chronic care facilities and clinics because enough money is not going where it should. We live in difficult times. We need to elect caring people to government not those out to line their own pocket.

  2. Thank you Barb for the kind words. We always wanted to be the kind of company that cared about people and added meaningful value beyond just a piece of technology that delivered insulin. I feel very lucky that I had 10 years to do great work in the space that I love with a rock star team, and hope that my former colleagues impacted by last week’s news find new opportunities to make a difference. May we all continue to bring a spirit of service no matter where we are so that humanity remains a part of business. In a monopoly, companies can get lazy because there is no threat or incentive to do better. I, for one, hope that Tandem comes to Canada to give Medtronic a run for their money and offer us a real choice!

    1. I am not sure what happens with this. On the upside, there are still many organizations working hard to create more artificial pancreas options including Bigfoot and iLet.

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