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Rumors-Possible Bad News for the Navigator :(

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by moco89, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. moco89

    moco89 Approved members

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    Subject: Hello Aviator, Goodbye Navigator



    April 21, 2009
    Hello Aviator, Goodbye Navigator

    Diabetic Investor has learned that Abbott (NYSE:ABT) has decided to enter the insulin pump market and officially launch their Aviator insulin pump. Additionally, it appears the company is abandoning the Navigator as they have dramatically cut the Navigator sales force and reassigned its clinical team to other projects.

    While details are sketchy as to exactly when the Aviator will be officially launched, Diabetic Investor expects to see something at the upcoming ADA conference this June. The more important question is; Why Abbott is even entering the insulin pump market. As Diabetic Investor has been reporting for sometime the competition has intensified to such a point that even companies with a good product can?t survive. Did Abbott management learn nothing from Smiths Medical recent decision to exit the insulin pump market entirely?

    The decision to dramatically scale back Navigator sales is hardly shocking given the units dismal performance. Once the most anticipated continuous glucose monitoring system, Navigator has been a colossal disaster every since the day when Abbott foolishly sought a replacement indication from the FDA rather than an approval as an adjunct device, like everyone else in CGM did. Last to the market, the Navigator faced stiff competition from Dexcom (NASDAQ:DXCM) and Medtronic (NYSE:MDT). The low hanging fruit already picked from the tree Abbott had the almost impossible task of coming to market with a product that was already technologically inferior and in a move only Abbot would do, priced higher than the competition. Even worse once on the market the product performed poorly as patients complained about numerous sensor failures and the devices 10 hour calibration period.

    The fact is Navigator is a classic example of a product that was designed by engineers who lacked real world market experience. As one Diabetic Investor source stated; ?The Navigator is an excellent device the only problem is they (Abbott) designed the product without thinking that one day they would have to scale up and actually make thousands of sensors.? Put another way, when you?re conducting clinical trials you can get away with making sensors by hand. Once approved you have to be able to manufacturer efficiently. Abbott management let the engineers run the show and paid little attention to what would happen if the device actually made into the market.

    Apparently the factor driving both moves is that Abbott believes that by entering the insulin pump business and scaling back Navigator will drive sales glucose test strips. Just how this will happen is anyone?s guess but as crazy as that sounds that?s the reason for these moves.

    Diabetic Investor didn?t think it was possible that Abbott could provide us with even more reasons to show just how clueless they are when it comes to the diabetes device market. It wasn?t enough that after acquiring Therasense they demoralized their employees to the point where they had no choice but to seek employment elsewhere as they just couldn?t stand it as Abbott effectively ran their once thriving company into the ground. Things became so bad at the company that they couldn?t even get a simple glucose monitor through the FDA without somehow screwing things up.

    For the moment Roche should feel comfortable that at least in one area they have not gained ground and remain firmly in second place when it comes to clueless management of diabetes devices. Roche has plenty of blunders of their own but Abbott continues to excel at making out and out dumb decisions when it comes to diabetes devices.

    You can view the email alert online by logging into your account at http://www.diabeticinvestor.com

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  2. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    I'm so disappointed to hear this and was truly looking forward to the next generation of the Navigator. While Kliff diminishes the engineers in the article, the engineers of the Navigator and other Therasense products are brilliant and visionary in my opinion. I have written to one of them hoping to get some type of confirmation.
     
  3. moco89

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    As an engineering student, I beg to differ on the quality of the device. I believe that the design and the quality of the actual device has possibly led to this product's demise.

    Although there were some brilliant people, particularly engineers, that were involved with the chemistry of the sensors and the calibration algorithm, which made it very accurate-the design of the device ruined it's reputation.

    I don't think the engineers are at fault here. I don't think that they are necessarily incompetent, as Kliff states. The management is at fault for not monitoring the situation, and addressing quality control concerns in the first place. This includes even prior to market approval. Abbott knew that the device had issues even before it reached the public, too. If you have been reading posts on this forum regarding the Navigator, you can tell that the management and many other individuals kind of do their own thing within this company, and do not work together. It's blatantly obvious, imo.

    Very few of the quality control issues (stemming from the design of the product) were ever properly addressed and/or resolved by Abbott.

    Believe me, I am sad and disappointed about this situation. But with all of the problems I have experienced with this device, I am not surprised at all.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  4. Brensdad

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    Based on the information presented, it doesn't make sense that this is an engineering problem. Engineers live and die by "pairs and eaches," and it seems unlikely they would make this kind of error. This sounds to me like a misallocation of resources or lack of foresight than engineering problems.
     
  5. Jacob'sDad

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    Thanks for posting this Monica.

    I just pasted this into an email and sent it to the diabetes educator who has been helping us in our quest to get Jacob a CGM. His endo has recommended the Navigator and almost no one at this clinic uses the Dexcom. I asked her to forward this info to Jacob's endo.
     
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    I don't subscribe to Kliff's investor newsletter (can't afford it either), but can anyone here share an opinion about Kliff's general level of accuracy with respect to items like this?
     
  7. Jacob'sDad

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    As far as the quality:

    I am a prototype machinist by trade. ALL products are first made by prototype. This is 100% different then making them in production. Making 10 is also far different than making 1000. On top of that, something that works great for a month is far different than something that works great for two years.
    Not only does each individual product have to have 100% quality and last over time, the machines THAT MAKE THEM have to work flawlessly as well and those machines have to last.

    Technology doesn't matter either if you wrap that technology in junk.
     
  8. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    Also wondering - what would it look like to a potential buyer of a first generation Aviator pump on the market from a company that is now abandoning another first generation product around which there was so much hype and enthusiasm? Hard to imagine Abbott would make that decision now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  9. moco89

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    I can't confirm his accuracy, but a close friend of mine has a subscription to his material.

    The freelance journalist Amy T refers to his reports a lot, so his reports are at least somewhat credible-as far as I can tell. Here's a search of "Kliff" on her blog. http://www.diabetesmine.com/?s=kliff
     
  10. buggle

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    I think we all should have learned by now that stock analysts can be totally full of it. You also need to know what is influencing them to trash a company like this.

    As far as I know, Abbott is in clinical trials right now for 1 hour startup. And their product is not technologically inferior. That's a bunch of nonsense. They out-perform the other CGMs. They have issues with quality control and stocking.

    There's some ulterior motive behind this analysis, because it's not accurate in the details. He could just be trying to manipulate the stock price.
     
  11. moco89

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    That's why I called it a "rumor", but if he is lying about this, he sure will be in a lot of legal trouble. I don't think you can get away with this. Also, if he wasn't credible, he wouldn't be able to charge an obscene subscription price for his material.

    We haven't heard anything from Abbott yet, or any confirmations, so we can't make any calls yet.
     
  12. frizzyrazzy

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    well, given the pictures of the approved pump that we all saw a few months ago (which are no longer on the FDA's website) I wonder also who will buy such a poorly designed device?
     
  13. BrendaK

    BrendaK Neonatal Diabetes Registry

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    I do not have the stars aligned with our D supplies these days :( First we renew our Cozmo warranty 6 weeks before they stop production. And then we have the Navigator rumors.........

    I am truly hoping that IF the rumors are true, that Abbott will continue to honor those who currently have a warranty.

    I'm not sure I believe the rumors yet, it just doesn't make sense to put so many years into getting FDA approval to pull out in 1 year???? But, Smith medical's decision was a complete surprise too.

    What a downer of a day to hear this. It is almost worse than me just finding out that Target discontinued selling Vans Gluten Free Waffles, I seriously almost left the store in tears. *sigh*
     
  14. betty6333

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    It wouldn't surprise me, but like when we lost the cozmo, the loss of a cgm, is a loss for everyone. Even though we did not use the product, we all need competition in the marketplace. I know that times are tough right now, but companies need to keep perspective when they do things like this.

    Even though it wouldn't affect us directly the loss of any CGM company really is a loss for us all. We the marketplace needs competition to push each other to do better. I do hope they are sadly mistaken, and he was overly and unnecessarily critical of the product, but at the VERY least they should get replacements and honor the warranty left on the product for the current product, like CoZmore is doing. They NEED to be sending those replacement transmitters out. I am mad for the people on this forum who have been left "high and dry" by this company since early March.

    I do hope they will get their act together and honor the commitments they have made. I would think that starting a product like a pump when they cannot honor the current commitments to the navigator would be a warning flag to anyone interested in a new tubed pump.
     
  15. buggle

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    He's stating an opinion -- it's hard to accuse him of lying. Plenty of people who aren't credible have done just fine. The high tech market is filled with people who've given misleading reports for decades and never get fired. The whole system is rife with abuse and incompetence -- hence our current economic meltdown.
     
  16. moco89

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    I called up Abbott Customer Service, and the guy that answered the phone said he knew nothing about any marketing decisions made by Abbott.

    I read him the first paragraph of the article, and he didn't know what the Aviator was........
     
  17. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    Thank you so much for this perspective. I appreciate it.
     
  18. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    I wonder if the Aviator will be available to be shown at CWD FFL - I'd like to see it in person, handle it, learn about the features not just from the manual we saw online - so I'm reserving my opinion and am hopeful it'll ultimately be a great pump. My son has plenty of time left on the Cozmo warranty. I am in no way disappointed having selected the Cozmo, I'm just sorry Deltec/Smith's exited the market.
     
  19. Jacob'sDad

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    The problems with the Navigator are almost certainly fixable. Hey, you can fix almost anything. But maybe it is just too expensive for Abbott to do those fixes. It would be a darn shame if this were all true. The engineers who came up with the technology must be extremely frustrated and disappointed.
     
  20. badshoe

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    Hell with rumors how about blatant speculation and ignorant blather? Well here it is:

    All the talks was Cosmo was going to work with this MAYBE, and I have no reason to believe this is true but maybe, ...Smith saw behind the scenes that Abbott was going in the tank with this and the came to realize they had no next generation CGM/Pump combo and that is the back story to the Cosmo demise.

    How's that for fanning flames of the uninformed?
     

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