- Medtronic has introduced an infusion set for insulin pumps that increases the wear time to as long as seven days.
- By doubling the wear time, the company aims to reduce annual insulin costs by 25% and cut plastic waste by 50% for users of its MiniMed 600 and 700 series pumps.
- The U.S. launch comes amid challenges for Medtronic’s insulin pump franchise after it was hit with a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration last year and the company later removed sales of its latest pump from guidance for 2023.
Patients typically change the tubing that delivers insulin from their pumps every two to three days. The schedule reflects evidence that infusion set and injection site problems such as itching and bruising start to occur on the third day of use. Interest in extending wear time has increased since patients began using pumps with continuous glucose monitors that need changing less frequently.
Medtronic responded by using materials designed to reduce the loss of insulin preservative and maintain the flow and stability of the drug. By building a tubing connector that improves the physical and chemical stability of insulin and creating a longer-lasting adhesive patch, Medtronic has built an extended reservoir that works for seven days.
Investigators validated the ability of the system in clinical trials, including a study of 259 adults who wore more than 3,000 extended-wear infusion sets. The infusion set survival rate at the end of day seven was 77.8% and glycemic control didn’t change.
Medtronic’s pitch for the infusion set is supported by evidence that it can reduce cost and plastic waste. The anticipated cost savings stem from the fact that some insulin is lost when an infusion set and reservoir are changed. The company calculated users of its extended-wear system will change their devices 75 fewer times, resulting in annual savings of more than $1,000.