Two elected officials in Charente-Maritime have questioned the government on the case of hundreds of diabetic patients, some of whom fear for their lives after stopping the manufacture of insulin pumps from the American company Medtronic, they told AFP on Wednesday. .
"There is no other treatment"
Senator Les Républicains Corinne Imbert wrote to Agnès Buzyn, Minister of Health, to alert her to the situation of people suffering from "complex type 1" diabetes, and to whom only the implantation in the abdomen of a insulin pump helps to lead a normal life. For these people, "there is no other treatment," she told AFP.
The US company, world leader in medical technologies according to its website, decided to stop the production of these pumps in 2020. The group in France could not be reached but Medtronic documents dated 2017 explain this decision by setting up a new system by "external insulin administration".
Olivier Falorni, a member of the group Freedom and territories, also intends to call the minister, "to recall that in the field, patients are worried." Medtronic "does not have the right to play the casino with the health of people," added the MP.
Two hundred and fifty French people use this device
The local elected officials were alerted by Alexandra Rousseau, 48, from Sainte-Soulle, who was implanted this MiniMed pump in 2014 and "dreads a sad end of life". "These pumps have a lifespan of six to eight years, so give us a rope right now," she told AFP.
An association, the Collectif des diabétiques implantés, founded in June, has launched a petition signed to date by 2,000 people, "so that the production of implantable pumps continues". In France, about 250 people wear this device which infuses directly in the abdomen, and they are about 400 in the world, according to the association of doctors Evadiac (EVAlation in the Diabetes of the treatment by Active Implants).
ANSM asks for "extra time"
Professor Éric Renard, president of the association and head of the Endocrinology-Diabetology-Nutrition Department of the University Hospital of Montpellier, follows 80. For some of them, "there is a vital risk," said AFP the specialist according to whom the new model "does not give satisfaction" for these patients. According to him, "apparently Medtronic wants to give up the patent at a good price" but in 2018, she "promised the ANSM (National Agency for Safety of Medicines and Health Products) that it would not let patients down and that it would transmit the patent ".
Asked, the ANSM, which will meet soon stakeholders, told AFP have asked Medtronic "additional time" for the cessation of marketing pumps and expects the company "assurances for the resumption of this activity by another industrialist ".