Yesterday Abbott announced they had received a CE Mark for the latest version of the FreeStyle Libre. A news event which had a direct and very negative impact on shares of Dexcom. Shares of Dexcom fell over $9 or almost 7%. Now why did this happen, what was the big news from Abbot which caused such carnage. The new FreesStyle Libre 2.0 now offers alarms and alerts, which to us is a non-event as the Dexcom system has been doing that from day one.
Since we were a bite confused and very jet lagged we decided to stop by the Abbott booth this morning and see what we were missing. Listen we didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday but hey sometimes we do miss things. We really wanted to understand what the big deal was as for us this news wasn’t news at all and it certainly didn’t seem to warrant such a direct and negative impact on the shares of Dexcom.
So we stopped by the Abbott booth first hoping to see the new system, no dice as it hasn’t been officially launched yet. Next we asked a simple “What’s the big difference between Libre 1.0 and 2.0?” The answer was unfortunately also simple all they did was add alarms and alerts. Therefore we asked a follow up question “Does a patient still have to scan the Libre to receive a reading?” The answer again unfortunately was yes that hasn’t changed.
The nice lady who was answering my questions then added that Abbott has data that shows that users LIKE having to scan the sensor to get readings. Astonished with such a claim we inquired if any of this data was publicly available, were there any studies in the public domain which verified this claim. Here is where we knew we were talking with someone from Abbott as she wasn’t exactly sure. Now we do not wish to cast doubt on what she was claiming but hey if your going make such a claim it would be nice if you had some data that backed it up.
Like we said before we may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but we ain’t dumber than a box of nails either.
Anyway when we thought about her claim we came up with a plausible explanation as yes it’s sure better scanning the sensor then it is sticking your finger to get a reading so under that circumstance such a claim seems valid. But the Libre is supposed to be a CGM and in case Abbott hasn’t gotten the memo CGM stands for CONTINUOUS GLUCOSE MONITORING. And the CGM’s we know deliver a CONTINUOUS set of readings WITHOUT the user having to do anything. Heck even the Medtronic CGM does that.
We also inquired why since the Libre 2.0 has Bluetooth technology it didn’t send readings to a smartphone something the Dexcom system has been doing since day one. No answer for that one. Ok then did the new system come with any apps? Nope no apps. Nope the only thing different between 1.0 and 2.0 is the system now has alarms and alerts which are sent to the reader. That’s it. No connectivity no apps just alarms and alerts. And Dexcom shares lost almost 7% of their value why?
Seriously we know we can be dim at times but we ain’t dead and we’re certainly aren’t stupid.
Folks let’s get a few things straight as we are getting just a little pissed off;
1. The FreeStyle Libre is better than a conventional BGM but it is not a CGM. It does not and still does not deliver readings CONTINUOUSLY. So lets stop the charade.
2. The Libre has no connectivity and still doesn’t.
3. There are no apps that work with the Libre, no apps that help users collect and analyze the data. No nothing that transforms all this damn data into actionable information.
4. Ok yes waving the magic wand is better than pricking your finger but having readings sent to a smartphone is way better and to claim otherwise is well ignorant.
5. The real idiots here is every analyst who thinks the Libre is a real CGM and is somehow superior to the G6.
Listen we know it hurts for some to think but come on now this is pure and utter bullshit. The one and only thing going for the Libre is that currently it is cheaper than the G6 and that’s it. Put head to head the G6 is the superior product and to state otherwise is just plain stupid.
Let’s also be very clear that this supposed price advantage Libre has will not last for long. But it almost doesn’t matter as Abbott has only one Libre partner, Bigfoot, and they don’t even have a product on the market yet and won’t for at least another year. Dexcom by contrast is partnered with Tandem, Insulet, Lilly, Novo Nordisk and a little company called Google. Oh and did we mention that another small company Apple is getting closer and closer with Dexcom.
Ok we understand that Abbott is a big company and analysts are the ones dumber than a box of hammers when it comes to CGM. However Abbott did not transform the Libre into a real CGM. They added no connectivity. There are no apps which collect the data from the Libre and transform the data into actionable information. The reality is the Libre is a BGM which doesn’t require fingersticks, that’s it.
Now normally we don’t like to hit people over the head with a baseball bat but damn it sometimes that’s all that works. Need we remind everyone that these same idiots once thought that Dexcom was dead and buried. That the company had lost it’s mojo and would have their clock cleaned by Abbott. Shares went below $60 and Abbott was the now the king of the castle. Even with yesterday’s declined Dexcom shares closed at $133.77, which by my simple math is a lot more than $60.
When it comes to CGM it is Dexcom who’s king of the castle, while Abbott is the emperor with no clothes.