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.
How did they go forward?
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, you 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.
What do I do now?
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.
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.