Tandem changes its cartridge

If they follow through with this change I hope they also improve their t:90 infusion sets. While they’re very similar to (Animas) Insets, they are definitely not the same quality. My daughter used the t:90s for 6 months. It was a good thing we had extra Insets because just about every other set change required a do-over. The inserter stuck on most of them, just enough to let the needle Pierce the skin but not enough to allow the infusion set to attach. We also had several that completely fell apart when we pulled back on the inserter. We could have had them replaced for free but only with additional t:90s. We chose to go back to Insets.

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The insurance racket is a whole other ballgame and they know how to screw us over really really well. I was in the same boat and was paying thru the nose just to end up paying additional or copays for everything I did. I wish I had an answer.

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As far as I am aware, all infusion sets, regardless of which pump or connector, are made by Unomedical. The pump companies give the their own names and labels but they are basically identical at the infusion set end. Medtronic have had their own connector system for years. The only downside is that not all pump companies offer all of the combinations of set type, inserter type and tubing length.

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That is true they were all made by unomedical and they all had the same luer lock. Im not sure who will be making them but the cartridge will no longer have the universal luer lock. The lock will be unique to Tandem.

I’ve been using the T:90s since December and have never once had the inserter fail. So either I’ve been very lucky or perhaps they’ve improved them?

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This is correct. In the 30 years I have been using a pump (6 different actually) the infusion sets are all the same. This a money grab by Tandem. I am on Medicare and my EOB tells me that Medicare & secondary insurance paid $418 for 3 months of infusion sets, cartridges & IV preps. BTW: Medicare paid $523 for a new Tandem pump.

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Wow that is such a small cost to their worth. To only get $523 for a pump that cost $15k that is a steal. No wonder Tandem is having money troubles. I think it was a good call to do this. They are doing it over 8 months so it shouldnt be too inconvenient to the users.

If people want choice, other than the large manufacturer’s, then they should do everything they can to support the innovative companies in the space. Buying your supplies from your pump manufacturer, if possible, is a small thing and can help ensure that Tandem is around.

I would guess that the issue is one where without the proprietary connection some of the 3rd party suppliers have been substituting non-Tandem products to increase their bottom line. Having a proprietary connection will hopefully increase their profit and allow them to stay in business. If you haven’t seen their stock price lately it is enlightening.

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@Alex27 have you tried buying directly from Tandem? I haven’t been able to buy direct for the last 2 years (they’re out of network) but prior to that I paid $25/box (cash price) for cartridges. I never tried for infusion sets through them, but Solara Medical had good prices then. Our current plan requires preauthorization & doesn’t cover out of network at all, but with our old plan I could buy with cash & then submit to insurance to get it applied toward deductible. It pays to know the loopholes in your plan nowadays.

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@daytona it’s likely their quality has improved over time. It’s been a couple of years since our experience with them, when they first started marketing the t:90. We had no choice at the time because we were buying directly from Tandem. They’re out of network for us & I just requested Insets from our new supplier.

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Thanks, tiaE. I will check. They initially sent me to Edgepark but i guess that’s because of insurance coverage. Maybe Tandem sells direct when it’s a cash transaction. Thanks for the idea! I will post an update.

Pardon the whine, but this is such a pain! It’s difficult enough to deal with D all day everyday & what it entails to achieve somewhat good results. To buy insurance & not realize you have to figure out not only if your docs are on the new plan, what meds are covered, etc but now HOW certain things are covered is taxing my patience. Apparently, if my DM stuff was covered under the pharmacy benefit, i’d pay a copay and be all set. But with FL Blue, these are under the medical benefit, which is subject to fulfillment of my deductible. Live & learn :disappointed:

Whine over (for now LOL). Thanks again, tiaE :wink:

@Alex27 Tandem quoted the cash price to me when I tried to reorder before the 90 days was up with insurance. I actually bought 4 boxes with cash to make sure I had a safety net. In your case, I would just say I’m cash pay right up front.

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I called Tandem & got reasonably good pricing: $30/box for cartridges & $95/box of t:90 infusion sets. The cheapest i have seen insets is $79.99 for another brand with luer lock. Thanks for the idea :wink:

Way better than the $270/box for infusion sets from FL Blue’s preferred DME provider! Lunacy! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Happy it worked out for you.:blush:

I just got my Tandem 6 days ago and have been frustrated with the cumbersome and slowwww cartridge change and with timing out during the process even though I have it set for the max time. I use Cleo sets. Asked specifically to the rep about this and was told this would not be a problem. Have tried the 2 sample infusion sets the rep gave me and do not like them. I will be returning my Tslim and going back to a Ping.

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See my post here about the abysmal quality of the T:90 sets. I’ve been pumping for 17 years and never had any major problems until now. Since using the TSlim in March, I haven’t felt this bad since being diagnosed with T1 in 1987.
You are absolutely correct! And yes, the fill process for a slim takes forever! Unomedical Supplies' Inconsistent Quality - #5 by Kevin23

Same here. The tslim infusion set is identical to the animas. I use the inset infusion set. I need to read how it is changing. A luer lock is a luer lock. I really wanted to used tandem as well for my infusion sets but Edgepark supplies me with animas. Ok so after reading article it looks like the connector is changing. But does that mean they are completely overhauling their infusion sets too and not offering the t90 infusion set which is virtually identical to animas? Like I said above a luer lock is a luer lock. On the plus side it does seem like the new connectors and infusion sets reduce fill time and reduce insulin waste some. I personally have never really had an issue with the fill time with tslim. It might be a little slower than Medtronic’s but hasn’t been a OMG this takes forever either.

“All the infusion sets currently offered by Tandem Diabetes Care will be made available with the new t:lock Connector. The new infusion sets will have the same insurance coverage as current sets.
Tandem expects to begin a gradual roll out of the new t:lock Connector in the second half of 2017. The Company plans to offer both the current connector as well as the t:lock Connector through the end of the year to make the transition as smooth as possible for existing customers.”

t:lock <> luer lock

It’s good. Since Medtronic created their own Paradigm connection, I have never looked back at luer. It feels so 1990’s.

Sad given the extremely poor quality that I’ve had with Tandem’s packaged Unomedical sets. If I could go to another supplier, it would have kept me with Tandem. But locking in says that I’m stuck with their garbage sets, and that isn’t acceptable to me.