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Dexcom Case Study: Launching a Continuous Glucose Monitor

Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) promise certain diabetics more effective self-management of their condition. Medtronic is a leading US supplier of CGMs, but since 2006 it has faced competition from a small start-up, Dexcom.

Management of diabetes often requires electronic blood glucose testing. Until recently, this was done using meters that offered single measurements. Continuous monitors came on to the US market in 2001 and offer certain diabetics the prospect of improved management of their condition, by detecting abnormal glucose levels more rapidly.

Medtronic and Dexcom are the only players in the US market which offer continuous glucose monitors. After Cygnus and Abbott both exited the US CGM market, the large and diverse medical instrument manufacturer Medtronic and the small start-up Dexcom, with its exclusive focus on CGMs, were the only companies left.

Substitutes, new entrants, and buyer power are significant pressures in the US CGM market. Non-continuous glucose meters offer acceptable self-management to many diabetics, and present indirect competition to CGMs. Insurance companies are strong buyers of medical equipment in the US, and manufacturers must be able to negotiate with them. There are some potential new entrants to this market, such as Bayer, which means that the duopoly market may have additional competitors in future.

To know more the market for CGMs, and the competitive pressures that Dexcom and Medtronic face, please read Dexcom Case Study: Launching a Continuous Glucose Monitor

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