Is this a joke?
Ok a hamster, plastic woman and Rabbi walk into a bar. They share a passionate embrace and start playing with some strange looking band-aids. The bartender walks over and says …. This joke has been circling in our mind these past few days, but we just can’t remember the punch line. An equally funny joke is the announcement made by Tandem (NASDAQ: TNDM) this afternoon. Per a company issued press release;
“Tandem Diabetes Care®, Inc. (NASDAQ: TNDM), a medical device company and manufacturer of the only touchscreen insulin pumps available in the United States, today announced that it will make any new features approved for the t:slim X2™ Insulin Pump by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018 available to all in-warranty users at no cost through the Tandem Device Updater. Tandem and continuous glucose monitoring partner, Dexcom, Inc., also announced the extension of their existing joint welcome program for Animas customers from December 31, 2017 to March 31, 2018, matching the expiration date of Dexcom’s program to that of Tandem’s Touch Simplicity Today pump access program.”
Ok let’s see if we get this. Tandem is willing to give away for FREE future updates to their t:slim X2™ in 2018, assuming of course they are still in business in 2018. And this helps Animas patients how? Keep in mind Tandem is charging Animas patients almost $1,000 to convert to their system. This is in sharp contrast to Insulet (NASDAQ: PODD) who in addition to the Dexcom (NASDAQ: DXCM) gift card will let Animas convert for FREE.
Again, let’s review Animas patients can convert to Insulet or Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) for FREE or pay $1,000 to move to Tandem a company that is running out of money and likely won’t be around much longer. This is like asking Packer fans given the option would they prefer Aaron Rodgers at quarterback or some second stringer. Yep by Tandem’s way of thinking that second stringer is looking pretty good right now.
Listen we hate to be the bearer of bad news but no matter what Tandem says the end is near. Saying this company needs a major infusion of cash to keep going is like saying the Titanic needed a small repair after it hit the iceberg.
Things are so bad at Tandem that they cannot even give their systems away to a group of patients who would like nothing better than to switch to Tandem but given the $1,000 they are forced to into the hands of the evil empire. Yes, the OmniPod is an option but as we have stated before when a patient is used to a wired system they like to stay with what they are familiar with which means Medtronic. Tandem may be stupid and spend money recklessly but patients aren’t and given the choice between a $1,000 or FREE something tells us FREE is better.
Seriously we can’t wait for Thursday afternoon when Tandem releases earnings and holds their conference call. This could be one of the all time greatest conference calls and that’s saying something. Even if they acknowledge that costs must be cut, and major changes need to be made IT’S TOO LATE THE TRAIN HAS LEFT THE STATION.
Barring a miracle, the next stop on this train is bankruptcy.