This morning Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) reported their fiscal fourth quarter and full years results. Although the company has made the decision to exit the blood glucose monitoring market, BD is hardly shying away from the diabetes sector. Already the leader in the needle and syringe segment, the company continues to explore opportunities in the insulin delivery and continuous glucose monitoring market.
Trends in diabetes management are definitely in BD’s favor. First and foremost the increased use of insulin pens and accelerating sales of Byetta , also delivered using a pen, will continue to drive growth. Although Exubera has proved to be a disaster, all the attention over the product has produced an unexpected side benefit for BD. As more patients ask about Exubera, physicians are able to discuss the benefits of insulin therapy. After learning about insulin therapy and the delivery options available, when the decision is made to move to insulin therapy patients prefer the simplicity of an insulin pen over the poorly designed Exubera delivery device.
While the company mentioned they planned on find a partner for their continuous glucose management project Diabetic Investor suspects they will move cautiously with this project. This market is still developing and without reimbursement will find a difficult time becoming a viable revenue area. However, overlooked is BD’s stated desire to explore additional opportunities in the insulin delivery market. The company has taken a look at possibly acquiring Insulet the makers of the OmniPod Insulin Delivery system. It is possible they could combine their effort in continuous glucose management with the OmniPod. A disposable pump system with continuous glucose management would fall nicely into the new realities of the insulin pump market. Payors are looking for lower cost options in the insulin pump area, a solution provided by the OmniPod. Physicians also understand the benefits of combining insulin pump therapy with continuous glucose management. It’s noteworthy to mention that nearly every disposable pump under development has plans of adding some type of continuous glucose monitoring to their systems.
Whether they acquire Insulet or not BD is well positioned in the diabetes market. Their decision to exit the blood glucose monitoring market demonstrates they have a clear understanding of the future and also demonstrates they are not willing to through good money after bad. BD may not be a flashy company but they do have clear understanding of the diabetes market, something that cannot be said by many of their competitors.