Bye, Bye Navigator

Bye, Bye Navigator

Looks like another Diabetic Investor prediction has become fact – according to the Abbott (NYSE:ABT) Diabetes web site;

“Dear Patients:

As you may be aware, Abbott Diabetes Care has been experiencing a supply interruption in the United States with the FreeStyle Navigator® Continuous Glucose Monitoring System. This interruption has affected our ability to provide U.S. patients with new system kits or warranty replacement components.

We are committed to producing high quality, safe and effective products and to providing the best possible customer service. When we bring a product to market, it is our responsibility to consistently provide the product to customers. In the U.S. we have not been able to consistently supply the Freestyle Navigator System to patients.

As a result, Abbott is permanently discontinuing the FreeStyle Navigator System in the U.S. We understand this decision may affect how some patients manage their blood glucose and we have several options available to help FreeStyle Navigator System patients in the U.S. transition to alternative glucose monitoring technologies.

The discontinuation of the FreeStyle Navigator System in the U.S. is not for safety reasons. The System is safe and effective and continues to be available to patients in seven other markets outside the U.S. No other Abbott Diabetes Care or FreeStyle products are affected by this discontinuation.

The discontinuation of the FreeStyle Navigator System in the U.S. will be conducted in an orderly manner and Abbott will provide U.S. customers with options available through March 2012 that can help with the transition to alternative products. Customers who wish to learn about the available options should contact Abbott Diabetes Care customer service at 1- 800-221-7700 for assistance.

We know FreeStyle Navigator System customers in the U.S. have lived with some uncertainty and frustration. We are grateful for the commitment patients and providers have devoted to the FreeStyle Navigator System over the years, and we are sorry that we have been unable to consistently meet their needs.

ADC remains committed to glucose monitoring and to developing other highly innovative glucose monitoring products based on the sensing technology that is at the heart of the FreeStyle Navigator System.” (Bold Text added by Diabetic Investor)

This decision by Abbott is hardly surprising and has been long overdue. Once consider the premier continuous glucose monitoring system, the Navigator is a shining example of how badly Abbott has managed their diabetes unit. This decision also fits rumors Diabetic Investor has been hearing that Abbott is getting close to selling the unit. Although these rumors have been around for some time they have intensified recently and eliminating the Navigator allows Abbott to make the unit more salable.

Given its dismal performance in the marketplace, Diabetic Investor doesn’t see either Dexcom (NASDAQ:DXCM) or Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) getting much of a sales boost from the few remaining patients using the Navigator who must now find another option.

Chalk this one up as another promising technology ruined by mismanagement or as the song goes “Another one bites the dust”.