I have now sent two separate emails over the past few months to Animas, asking about the Animas Vibe, and if they have any information regarding the FDA approval process. Both times I received an auto-response email stating they've received my email and will respond within 72 hours. I never received an actual follow up email either time.
Is this indicative of Animas customer service?
Does anyone currently use an Animas insulin pump, and if so, what has your experience been with their customer service?
Does anyone have any information as to where they are in the FDA approval process with the Animas Vibe?
I can tell you that it's hard to get a response about any product that's in the FDA process...Unless it is a official press release I would not hold my breath...if anyone outside the Animas/J&J camp had some news it would be plastered all over the intranet.
I have an animas insulin pump. When I call them on the phone, other than long wait times (10-15 min on hold), their customer service has always been satisfactory... except last week when I called for infusion set samples and the guy was impossible and I gave up... but I'll consider that a fluke.
As for the Vibe, I talked to a Dexcom rep because I am trying to get a CGM, and she told me that it's ATLEAST a year away for US customers... she literally said not to wait for it, so, I'm not.
But when it comes out I am hoping to get one because it looks awesome. But I do love Animas, I love there pump, and their customer service seems alright.
I have an Animas pump and my customer service experience with them has been superb. They have handled every order promptly, and have addressed every question that I have had with the pump, the software or other issue. I love the features of the Animas Ping.
What I do know is that the Vibe is still in the FDA approval process. This could take months. They are probably not answering you because they do not know what the timeline will be for the Vibe's release. I believe that with the Vibe CGM, the remote feature of the meter communication will be changed considerably.
I saw something in the May 2012 issue of diaTribe that indirectly addresses your interest in info on the Animas Vibe. It's in the new-now-next section on page 4.
The update is from Dexcom's perspective and their development of the Gen 4 sensor. The article states that Dexcom expects FDA approval by the end of 2012. It's the Gen 4 sensor that is intended to be paired up with the Animas Vibe.
I only call Animas customer service a few times per year and I've always been happy with them. I never remember waiting for as long as 15 minutes on hold.
Your experience asking questions about product timelines and getting ignored is unfortunately typical of all biotech products. Nobody wants to say anything until the product is actually available. It's especially frustrating as someone tries to time his/her next four year committment for an insulin pump or CGM.
I am currently using the Dexcom CGM, and am very happy with it, but am not using an insulin pump. I am interested in switching to a pump, but am active, and rely on the CGM to let me know if it's time for a snack, whether it's mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding, etc. The Vibe is appealing to me because it integrates the Dexcom technology (so I won't need a pump and a Dexcom receiver), and is supposedly water resistant up to 10 feet - something that would be helpful if caught out in the rain.
I am reluctant to start on a pump now, only to have the Vibe approved in the U.S. sometime in the not too distant future. My A1C scores are pretty good, typically in the 5.7 - 6.0 range, but I am feeling like a pin cushion after 25 years of type 1 diabetes.
Thanks everyone so far for your responses.
Adam - Since you've lived with a Dex CGM, you probably value its ability to wake you up at night. If you're like me you place your CGM at night to optimize the radio link to your sensor and maximize its ability to wake it up. How do think that would work if a combined pump/CGM was sounding an alarm under covers?
I definitely don't want an integrated pump/CGM. I talked with Medtronic on the phone last Friday. Their suggestion: Buy their MySentry receiver for about $1500 of out-of-pocket expense. That's a promotional price at this point but the list price is around $3000. And my insurance won't cover it.
Congrats on your excellent A1c. Do you have many hypos?
I had an Animas pump for 5 years. Back before they were bought my Johnson and Johnson they were fantastic. I never had trouble getting them on the phone or having my questions answered. After the take over I think they cut back the support staff because I was often asked to wait for a call back. Usually the call back never came. My pump went 3 years with out ever needing a call to them. It is a well built product that is just not supported well.
When it was time for a new pump back in January. I called and asked about the new pump. I wanted info about the Ping and Dexcom combo. I also needed a loaner pump because one of the buttons was stuck on my out of warrantee Animas 2020 pump. I got the application to them by email and they never got back to me. Three phone calls and no one responded.
I called Minimed and I had the pump 4 days later. They offered to come to my home and train me. If you call them they always get to you fast.
I find the pumps are pretty similar. It it nice to have the pump and sensor in one unit, but I think the Dexcom is a better product.
Still in the end it is all about customer service, There is nothing that is going to freak me out more than having trouble with my pump and I can't get help.
I am certainly not going to persue a company to give them $6,000 when they do not seem interested in my business.
I think the customer service is good so far. I started pumping for the first time today. when the DE helped me set up the pump and training, we ran into a error. we called Animas and was on holod form maybe a minute. We found out that we had a defective infusion set. We replaced it and the rep stayed on the phone with us through the check.