Abbott (NYSE:ABT) posted its third quarter financial results yesterday, meeting its own forecast and the consensus set by analysts on Wall Street. The healthcare giant also narrowed its earnings outlook for the rest of the year.
Abbott noted particularly high gains in revenue for its medical device division – sales were up 8.4% to $2.82 billion, in part driven by double-digit growth for its diabetes business.
The company’s diabetes revenues grew 37.5% to $512 million in Q3. Abbott touted a number of regulatory wins for its FreeStyle Libre sensor-based continuous glucose monitoring system, including FDA approval of the 14-day system and CE Mark for its Libre 2 system.
On a call with analysts yesterday, CEO Miles White signaled that the company is investing heavily in the rapid expansion of the FreeStyle Libre system. In response to a question about competing with other high-tech CGMs on the market, White pointed to the product’s affordability and accessibility.
“It’s got tremendous capability, but given that value point that we have it priced at, it is accessible to patients all over the world. And when we first launched in Europe, we launched without any government reimbursements. And for the first time glucose monitoring was patient pay. And it had widely great acceptance just on that basis, which actually encouraged governments to reimburse the product. So I think with healthcare today, a lot of things that come to market are very expensive, whether they are pharmaceuticals or devices. And in this particular case, it was important that this have a medical and an economic value proposition that made it accessible to all patients or as many as possible,” he explained.
The company hasn’t provided specific timing in regard to bringing the Libre 2 to the U.S., but White said that plans are in the works.
“I would tell you this, it should take a lot less time than it seems to. The US lags Europe and the rest of the world on some of these approvals in a way that I find hard to explain but it is what it is,” he added.
Abbott’s CEO also noted that he sees sensor-based CGMs as the standard for the future of glucose monitoring; the company doesn’t measure itself against competition that uses a system requiring fingersticks, according to White.
“We know how many potential patients there are out there and it’s our intent to capture the vast majority or possible — maximum of them that we possibly can in just a few years. So I look at Libre right now and a lot of people call it wild success. I kind of think we’re just getting started,” he said.