Freestyle navigator quandary

been waiting on a replacement transmitter since march 2010. it’s cracked but it works

been fighting BCBS to pay for the sensors since april 2010. i have 9 left and no way of affording more out of pocket.

i’ve met someone who wears a dex, and i don’t like it.

i don’t like medtronic as a company at all and won’t deal with their local rep ever again [he tried to sell me on their pump when i was getting started and i caught him in several lies and he wouldn’t leave me alone until i was nasty to him over the phone]

even if i DID get a different brand there’s very little chance that BCBS will pay for the continuous DME supplies - they only mention the navigator in their coverage paperwork, and only then if they decide you are sick enough.

today when i called about the exciting new thing my receiver is doing [system initializing] i found out that it’s likely to be the battery compartment not making good contact. upon inspection, i reported to abbott that there is a crack around one of the screws inside the battery compartment. yesterday it did this and i had just set it down so i figured i had jarred the batteries. but today it was sitting flat and still on my desk when it did it.

they again offered me the $2k refund.

but… i bent the battery contacts and taped the battery compartment shut with surgical tape for now. and “told it i put a new sensor in” so i’m in the waiting 10 hours part of the cycle now.

seems to not be having any more contact problems, and i will treat it very very gently.

there is no word still on the replacements. i am now on the list for a replacement receiver AND a replacement transmitter unless i take the refund.

taking the refund means i go back to fingersticks every 30 minutes [i have crazy sudden superspeed BG drops and i don’t feel them] including waking up in the middle of the night a few times.

i am pretty sure i know what i am going to do… but i’m not going to tell you yet because i want to know what you would do

Yeah, I would invest in a roll of duct tape and pray to the god of my choice. If Nav died before V2 comes out, I’d go without CGM for a while (if V2 really close to rolling out who can say?), otherwise live with Dex.

You might want to re-consider your assumption regarding what CGM’s your insurance covers. If you have to go with Dex, contact them and they will interface with your insurance and get back to you as to what your cost would be. If Dex isn’t covered, you haven’t lost anything.

In any case, gently, gently is the watch word! Good luck.

don, they said they covered the navigator sensors and approved the claim through neighborhood diabetes in january 2010. and after i ordered 4 boxes i got a letter in april 2010 saying that they changed their mind and weren’t going to pay. we’ve been in appeals since.
i owe $1350 [minus the $280 i just paid] to neighborhood diabetes and i’m not willing to risk racking up another giant bill when they lie to me again

I will only give up my Nav when it stops working at all. I have one that has a blemish on the screen but I can read around it. I spoke to Abbott yesterday and basically begged them to tell me they are going to leave the market so I can know that if there is no hope I have to get the Dex and learn to like it. But I had one before and it is just not in the same league as the Navigator. Bottom line, the Nav when working reads my BG accurately and the Dex doesn’t. When I used the Dex I never could even consider not doing a finger stick for every correction. When my Nav is working I use maybe 5-10 strips a week. The Abbott CS rep – maybe it is wishful thinking – left me feeling that they are not planning to abandon this market. If they were, why would they still be selling the Nav in Europe and Israel? Why would they still be making the sensors available in the US? Why wouldn’t they tell us they were giving up the market if they were. As long as my Nav works at all, I’m sticking with it. If it fails, I will switch to Dex. IF Abbott subsequently dcomes back in to the market, then I will switch back even if I have to eat the cost.

tedlevy, i don’t get the feeling they are planning to leave the market even though customers are leaving them in droves. since i get the same few reps every time i call, and i work in a similar position for a biologics company, i suspect they’ve had to lay off a lot of people though. they thank me for sticking by them whenever we talk. Until Abbott hires the “right people” the FDA will not allow sales in the USA!!!

peruvianpasohi , thanks for the link. but as someone who is actually also in a similar industry, governed by the FDA and subject to the same rules as Abbott, I looked at those jobs. for the US jobs it does look like they are hiring sales specialists, regionally, in the US under the Abbott Diabetes Care division - but the FDA doesn’t give a crap about the sales team existing. It’s standard industry practice to get the medication/product approved before hiring the sales staff.
the jobs i see that COULD have an impact on availability are
SR REG AFFAIRS SPECIALIST Government Affairs & Legislative Affairs USA Abbott Diabetes Care California
Manager, Document Control Quality Assurance USA Abbott Diabetes Care California

but if there’s a senior regulatory affairs specialist needed, then there’s already a team in place with the various assistant regulatory affairs specialists.
and there’s never ever ever just one document quality control associate. that job is always done by committee.
even so, if that’s the hold up, it’s Abbott’s issue with it, not the FDA’s. The FDA has absolutely nothing to do with the hiring practices of a company. It’s completely unrelated to what they can and cannot do. Also, the recall was a soft recall. the FDA doesn’t actually have the ability under current law [although i believe that’s changing soon] to require a company to not sell a product once it has been approved for a certain indication. a soft recall means that the company made the choice without the “strong recommendation” of the FDA. They can bring it back anytime it’s ready.
but i like that they are making sure the problem is resolved before producing more

When I spoke to the Abbott Diabetes customer care rep the other day he made a point of emphasizing that the hold-up with the Navigator is associated with an INTERNAL Abbott review of their processes.