First things first as it’s time to get rid of classical music while we wait for a call to begin. How about some country or hip hop? Anyway the Tandem results and call all came down to one thing and one thing only – Tandem and the entire diabetes community continues to wait for the FDA to do their thing and approve the Control IQ already. Unfortunately neither the company nor anyone else for that matter knows why the FDA is taking, excuse the expression, their sweet time to approve the damn thing.
The good news is the company is not sitting around waiting for approval and is aggressively getting ready for what everyone believes will be a very successful launch. While this may not be a new iPhone with people camping out overnight at their Apple store but for the diabetes community it sure feels that way. Just as Novo Nordisk is benefiting from a high level of awareness for Rybelsus, Tandem is experiencing the exact same thing for Control IQ. The main difference being while Rybelsus has some issues to overcome when available, the only issue Tandem will be facing is being able to meet demand.
Listening to all the questions it’s time to get some of the pesky facts straight. First the Control IQ is not slightly better than the 670G, it’s a superior product in every respect. It’s also superior to anything Medtronic has in their pipeline. Hands down when it comes to hybrid closed loop insulin delivery systems the Control IQ will become the gold standard from which all other systems will be judged against. Even better for Tandem is the Control IQ will come to market at the time Mr. Salmon is learning the ropes at Medtronic.
Seriously we haven’t even meet the man yet but damn we are beginning to feel sorry for Mr. Salmon. Not only is he inheriting a disaster he’s inheriting this disaster at a time when his competitors are getting stronger, introducing better technology and are about to kick his ass all over the road. Yep payback is definitely a bitch but when it comes to the insulin pump market the competition will be relentless in their quest to slay the dragon.
A few final comments as we anticipate shares of Tandem selling off some. Given that we are now in the first week of November and the fourth quarter, the strongest quarter for insulin pump sales will be ending soon, even with an approval tomorrow Tandem will not benefit. Secondarily costs will continue to increase to meet demand and support for the Control IQ, we don’t see this as a bad thing, but the Street always hates it when costs do up.
The Tandem story is simply hurry up and wait. We’re not sure who said it, but it has been said that good things come to those who wait. Unlike Momma Kliff who unfortunately had to raise four very impatient boys said, “Hey there isn’t much you can do about the damn wait. So deal with it already, just make sure when the wait is over the champagne is cold and ready to be served.” The corks will be popping and the champagne flowing in San Diego soon just not yet.