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Letter to J&J: Animas Pump Replacement

Dear Mr. Gorsky,

We at The diaTribe Foundation are disappointed that Johnson & Johnson is going to discontinue its Animas insulin pump.  As you know, fewer pumps means fewer options for the people who depend on them, but an insulin pump is not like most products.

Pumps deliver life-saving medicine every hour of every day, so wearing a pump is highly personal, often based on preference in technology, lifestyle, and even body type. Some pumps simply don’t work well on some bodies. Being forced to move to a new pump – as Animas customers are – will be a time consuming and emotionally taxing experience.

For these reasons, we regret that J&J is working only with Medtronic to help people switch pumps. That is insensitive to the diverse needs and constraints of your customers. In fact, J&J has not only diminished patient choice but has also left customers with a less-advanced pump, as Medtronic is offering the 630G/Enlite rather the 670G/Guardian Sensor 3. In addition, given Medtronic’s dominance in the market, most people who chose Animas had a specific reason they did not choose Medtronic, which is all the more reason those customers should be given more options.

We strongly recommend that J&J offer multiple pump options for its customers. That would be a real statement to patients. While we recognize that Medtronic is a safe choice, your customers have been loyal, and they deserve the opportunity to choose a pump that works best for them and their diabetes care.

We understand that J&J is running a business, and this was a business decision. But what’s at stake is the physical and emotional health of your customers, and by offering them just one pump (and a second-rate one at that), you are failing those customers. We hope that J&J will do the right thing by your customers and help them find a new pump that meets their needs.

Thank you very much for your consideration. 

By Maeve Serino and Kelly Close.

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