This has got to stop
Ok since we have been on somewhat of a rant today might as well go with it. Will someone please explain to us and do it slowly please as we cannot figure out what the hell is so revolutionary about the FreeStyle Libre. Story after story describes the Libre as “groundbreaking” or “revolutionary” or both. Now to be honest many of these stories are from the same idiots that called the 670G an artificial pancreas when it clearly isn’t and even Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) acknowledged that.
First the Libre isn’t even a CGM or at least a CGM as we have come to understand it. It does not show trend data, there are no alarms, the patient needs a separate device to retrieve readings. Yes, it is a vast improvement over a conventional finger stick monitor and another nail in the BGM coffin but it is NOT and not even close to being groundbreaking or revolutionary.
Seriously we are amazed that so many people have heaped so much praise on this toy. That overnight Dexcom (NASDAQ: DXCM) has gone from a beautiful swan to an ugly duckling. Since Libre’s approval shares of Dexcom have fallen over 30%, while shares of Abbott (NYSE: ABT) have risen a little over 3%.
Pardon us for asking but did we miss something? Has this race been run already with Dexcom getting crushed by Abbott?
No, we didn’t think so.
The reality is the Libre is another option for patients to consider. An option that does offer some advantages over Dexcom, i.e. no calibration but also lacks many of the features and accuracy of the Dexcom system. And let’s be honest the real battle will not be fought between Abbott, Dexcom and patients but Abbott, Dexcom and payors.
Will Abbott as we suspect use aggressive pricing/rebates to gain prime formulary access, thus forcing Dexcom into a price war. Will Dexcom counter by getting their own no calibration claim combined with a lower price point. Listen as we noted on many occasions payors could care less which system does what all they care about is which company offers the lowest cost per patient.
About all we know for sure is that BGM is now officially on its last legs. Other than that, nothing has been set in stone.
One more thing while we’re ranting have any of these idiots bothered to do a little simple math. Have they noticed that there are millions of patients who DO NOT use either system and there is plenty of upside for both companies. This is not like the insulin pump market which is controlled by just one company. This is a dynamic growing market with tons of upside. Listen we know that idiocy is running rampant these days but my goodness does it have to accompanied by stupidity.
Now we go into the details yet again of why the reports of Dexcom death are premature. However, we will say this DEXCOM HAS ONE OF THE BEST IF NOT THE VERY BEST SET OF TALENT EVER. Abbott on the other hand until Libre has a checkered, and we are being very kind here, history in CGM.
What’s really groundbreaking and revolutionary here is the level of idiocy combined with stupidity. So, go ahead and bet against Dexcom falsely believing the race has been lost before its even been run. Yes, they have some heavy lifting to do but they have the talent to do it. Yes, they will have to compete but they are not afraid to compete. Does it hurt that their pump partners are sinking faster than the Titanic did after it struck the iceberg, of course it does.
But we have seen this before and believe it or not we have seen this in the insulin pump market. While it seems difficult to imagine today there was time when these same morons were saying that Medtronic’s day of ruling the insulin pump market were over. That finally at long last their blunders would cost them. That ANIMAS and DELTEC would take share away and it would be a real three horse race for insulin pump supremacy. The same was said when Tandem (NASDAQ: TNDM) came along with their toy. That patients would switch in droves from the pager like Medtronic pump to the iPhone like Tandem pump.
Today Animas has joined Deltec in the insulin pump glue factory and Tandem is getting ready to join them.
Over in the CGM market? As John Blutarsky famously said was it over when the Germans bombed Peral Harbor. No, it’s over when the market says it over.