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[IP] MiniMed Paradigm - 511

Listed below is a "clip" from The Diabetes Mall.  The article is part of
the "More Pump Information" - "New Pumps Coming" section.  It offers
more information than the current MiniMed web site for the Paradigm.  If
the article is correct, the new smaller pump will have some exclusive
proprietary features including reservoir and infusion set connections.
These features may not provide an advantage to many pumpers or their
insurance providers.  Read on  ......

"MiniMed is currently working on their next generation pump called the
511. MiniMed says it is not switching to a DC motor which is preferred
by others for strength and frequency of its basal delivery. Some MiniMed
sources say the 511 will incorporate more frequent basal delivery now
available in other pumps, as the company prepares to compete in the area
of peritoneal insulin delivery, which has great advantages for blood
sugar stability.  Some company spokespeople have been touting the
advantages of intermittent insulin delivery to mimic the normal biphasic
insulin release from the pancreas, apparently forgetting that insulin
delivery from a pump is subcutaneous and can never create a biphasic or
intermittent effect within the bloodstream. Other sources deny the
company is trying to increase basal delivery frequency and suggest the
company is preparing a "once an hour delivery is OK" campaign to offset
the disadvantage of less frequent delivery.
Some of this pump's new features are financially risky for the company,
and will appeal to some but displease others. Unlike the Dahedi, which
has a 300 unit reservoir, the 511's similar small size is achieved using
a pre-filled 150 unit reservoir. This reservoir will have a major change
in that it has a proprietary connection on the reservoir that only fits
a new proprietary teflon infusion set. Hence a pumper using the 511 will
be able to use only these sets, and these sets can only be used with a
511.  These "small" changes will increase MiniMed's profits
considerably, and place restrictions on current users using larger total
daily doses.  For example, a pumper who uses 51 units or more per day
will be forced to change the reservoir and infusion set every two days
to avoid running out on the third day. Rather than three or four days of
infusion set use which is common, these pumpers and their insurers will
be forced to begin paying an extra 150% to 200% for sets and reservoirs
if they want the new pump. Only those using 37 or fewer units a day will
be able to get 4 days use out of each reservoir. The benefit of
smallness may turn out to bite many current users in the pocketbook.  If
the pumper happens to forget to order infusion sets, they cannot use an
older set that they may have handy, nor can they borrow one from a
friend on a pump, nor use another type from a local pharmacy. The
proprietary connection between the pre-filled reservoir and a
single-choice infusion sets also allows MiniMed to set prices on these
supplies. This may deter coverage by HMOs and insurers who prefer to
have competitive bidding on infusion sets since this is their major
cost. They may also want to avoid the extra emergency calls from pumpers
requiring overnight delivery because they forgot to order on time.  The
511 is likely to incorporate bi-directional infrared communication.
Another feature of the 511 is expected to be      better protection
against electrostatic discharge which has been a nagging problem with
current 508 models. If static electricity is encountered in contact with
devices like a lawnmower or touching a doorknob after crossing a rug, it
causes the 508 to zero out the pump's basal rates without warning. Basal
rates on the 508 should be immediately checked following any static
discharge or unexplained rise in blood sugars. MiniMed had a web page
article addressing the electrostatic problem but the article is no
longer available. In the article, they recommended that the pump
batteries be removed for six to eight hours, then reinserted to remedy
this occasional problem."

Anapolis, MD
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