Pump-maker Asante Closes its Business: Animas, Insulet, Medtronic, and Tandem Offer Welcome Programs To Transition to a New Pump
By Adam Brown
Update (5/28/15): Following news earlier this month that Asante is closing its business, other pump companies have come out with discounts to help the ~1,000 Snap users transition to a new pump. Animas and Insulet have the lowest cost and lowest hassle programs:
Medtronic: A recertified MiniMed 530G insulin pump will be offered at a discount price of $1,200, which can potentially be reduced to $0 by taking surveys, uploading to CareLink, and other unspecified terms. More information is posted here.
Tandem: A trade-in credit of up to $400 will go towards the cost of a t:slim or t:flex. More information can be found here.
Original Article (5/15/15): Insulin pump startup Asante shared with us today that it is permanently closing its business. The roughly 1,000 current users of its Snap pump (and 200 in free trials) can choose to transition to J&J’s Animas Vibe pump.
Patients that want to temporarily stay on their Snap pump can call their distributor; all distributors have an inventory of supplies, and will be receiving additional inventory now at a discounted rate. If patients would like to transition to the Vibe, they can call Animas’ dedicated line at 1-877-937-7867, ext 1562 for this limited time offer.
This disappointing news reflects many factors. First, the insulin pump market has gotten increasingly competitive, with Animas, Insulet, Roche, and Tandem contending for business with market leader Medtronic. The pump market is also limited in size for now, with most estimates pegging less than one in three type 1s on a pump – this makes it challenging for companies to have sustainable and profitable businesses, and Asante was still operating at a small scale with a controlled regional rollout.
It’s also a tough time for companies to work with payers and secure reimbursement, especially given a heightened focus on costs. Our hats go off to Asante, who despite these challenges put forward a product that many patients liked. We are always fans of greater competition in any area of diabetes, since it breeds faster innovation that patients can benefit from.
Yet and still, some highly regarded educators felt that Asante was an excellent solution for young and old “… who hated having to fill cartridges …” Among them was renowned educator Virginia Valentine of Sage Specialty Care in Albuquerque. She added that another benefit was that it was easy to see the screen. “I will miss the little pump that could but didn't quite make it to the top of the mountain before running out of steam,” she said.
We wish the Asante team all the best, and hope that its members will remain in diabetes and continue to improve the lives of patients. -AB/AJW