And the hits just keep on coming
According to press release issued back on August 31, 2007 Abbott (NYSE:ABT) “Abbott is initiating a worldwide medical device correction for users of its Precision Xtra™, Optium™, ReliOn® Ultima, Rite Aid®and Kroger® blood glucose meters manufactured after January 31, 2007. If the meter is dropped on a hard surface, part or all of the display screen may not work properly or may appear blank, which could result in an inability to view blood glucose test results. The inability to generate blood glucose results could result in significant risk for hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.”
This correction is another setback for Abbott Diabetes Care and comes after the company lost the Rite Aid® account to Home Diagnostics (NASDAQ:HDIX). The company continues to suffer setbacks in the market and is falling further behind Bayer (NYSE:BAY) who is now solidly in third place in terms of market share.
Rumors are circulating that the company has begun shopping their yet to be approved continuous glucose monitoring device, the Navigator, to other players in the diabetes market. Things have become so bad at Abbott Diabetes Care that the rumor mill has gone beyond the company selling Navigator and instead selling the entire diabetes care division.
As we have seen with Bayer’s resurgence things can be turned around if the company commits itself to a realistic strategy and has a solid management team to back it up. However, the dynamics of the blood glucose monitoring market are changing rapidly and if the company does not act quickly even the best laid plans will have little chance of succeeding.
Soon the fourth quarter of 2007 will be upon us and 2008 is just around the corner. At the beginning of the New Year Diabetic Investor will once again attend JP Morgan’s annual healthcare conference. Some may recall that at last year’s conference Abbott publicly stated that Navigator would be approved sometime in the first quarter of 2007 and the new management team would put a plan in place that would reinvigorate the division. Wonder what they’ll say at this year’s conference?