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Abbott Announces It Will Permanently Discontinue the FreeStyle Navigator CGM in the US

On August 31, Abbott Diabetes Care announced that it will permanently discontinue the FreeStyle Navigator continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system in the United States. This disappointing news comes on the heels of a supply interruption that has existed since early 2010. Going forward, Navigator will continue to be used in research studies (welcome news for the artificial pancreas) and will also continue to be available in its "next generation" version (one-hour rather than ten-hour warmup time) in Europe and Israel. Based on our discussions with Abbott, we believe the company is working on a 'next-next' generation CGM system in the US. From a commercial perspective, we think it was not worth it for the company to continue to support this product with so few people on it - Abbott didn't ever launch the one-hour system in the US though it was approved in late 2009. The best-case scenario for US patients would be for Abbott to invest in future CGM systems and effectively leapfrog the approved-but-never-launched the Navigator with one-hour calibration. A fairly small number of patients used the ten-hour calibration version, so we do understand it was a lot of investment for few patients. As long as the company does continue to invest in CGM, we will be very happy for patients, though we do feel sorry for those using Navigator who counted on it - among them, some notable diabetes scientists and researchers and their children. More focus on future innovation will be great to see. The worst case scenario for patients would be if Abbott discontinues CGM internationally in the next year-plus. We hope very much not to see this, as some incredible scientists and researchers are in-house at Abbott at work on this technology. ­--AB/KC

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