The agreement is non-exclusive, and will allow for data sharing — with user consent — between Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre mobile app and Sanofi’s cloud-connected insulin pens.
The devices, which will sense glucose levels and deliver insulin, is the latest in a series of cooperative approaches among pharmaceutical companies to specialized markets. Abbott has already engaged with Bigfoot and Novo Nordisk (NOV), another major player in diabetes management.
In a statement, Jared Watkin, senior vice president of diabetes care at Abbott, said that the company expects “a significant opportunity to impact the health of millions of people living with diabetes” with the new tools.
“By partnering with Abbott, we are a step closer to realizing our connected ecosystem, which would help improve control and the quality of life decision cycle for patients through individualized glycemic management of diabetes,” said Gustavo Pesquin, senior vice president of global diabetes and cardiovascular franchise at Sanofi.
More than 30 million Americans are living with diabetes today, according to the Center for Disease Control. The Abbott-Sanofi partnership is a new example of how smart devices are increasingly used for health care purposes — and to lessen costs.
The American Diabetes Association estimates costs related to diabetes care are in excess of $237 billion in 2017, and an average of $16,475 health care dollars is spent per person each year.
Meanwhile, the price of insulin has been soaring. Families have reported rationing the doses in order to make each refill last, which can have fatal consequences.
It was unclear whether the Abbott-Sanofi partnership could address insulin rationing. However, Sanofi has previously said it will reduce the medication’s price for patients who are uninsured.
Anjalee Khemlani is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @AnjKhem