Medtronic names exclusive distributor for its non-intensive diabetes devices

The i-Port Advance injection port--Courtesy of Medtronic

In a bid expand access to its devices for diabetes, Medtronic ($MDT) just made Henry Schein Medical ($HSIC) its exclusive distributor to U.S. primary care physicians. Devices covered under the agreement include the bigwig's iPro2 Professional Continuous Glucose Monitoring system and i-Port Advance injection port.

Medtronic says more than 80% of Type 2 diabetics receive care via their primary care physician, making them an important stakeholder in the treatment ecosystem. And with sales of $10.4 billion in 2014, Henry Schein is one of world's largest distributors of healthcare products, according to a Medtronic release.

The news comes on the heels of the launch of the one-page Pattern Snapshot report for the CGM, which offers physicians an interpretation of detailed glucose data over time. The report contains a chart of the patient's glucose levels and uses algorithms to identify an individual's glucose control issues and possible causes.

It's used in conjunction with the iPro2 CGM, which will now be distributed by Henry Schein and is designed to provide clues about the impact of a patient's diet, medication and daily activities on his or her glucose level by constantly recording the levels for up to three days at a time.

Also mentioned in the release is the i-Port Advance injection port. It simplifies administration of diabetes medications by reducing the number of injections that puncture the skin. The port contains a cannula that stays under the skin following insertion. Medication is then inserted through the cannula instead of the skin.

"Medtronic is committed to advancing the care of people with Type 2 diabetes. Solutions such as the iPro2 Professional CGM enable physicians to easily gather valuable insights to make educated therapy decisions and improve patient coaching, which can lead to better control for people with type 2 diabetes," said Medtronic Vice President Laura Stoltenberg, the general manager of the company's non-intensive diabetes therapies division, in a statement. "Together with Henry Schein and its dedicated sales team, we can broaden access to CGM for primary care physicians and their patients with type 2 diabetes."

During its most recent earnings call, Medtronic said revenue at Stoltenberg's division grew by more than 60% due to strong demand for the aforementioned devices. Overall the diabetes group contributed $445 million in revenue during the quarter, up 15% year-over-year, and representing 6% of total company sales.

The alliance with Henry Schein Medical is latest in a slew of Medtronic diabetes partnerships, including recent tie-ups with Samsung, Becton Dickinson ($BDX) and Glooko.

Medtronic recently closed of its acquisition of Netherlands-based diabetes clinic and research center operator Diabeter. "With Diabeter and our continued strong progress with partnerships such as IBM, we continue to transform our Diabetes Group from a market-leading pump and sensor company to a leading provider of holistic diabetes management solutions that we believe will expand access, integrate care and improve outcomes so that people living with diabetes can enjoy greater freedom and better health," said Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak during the earnings call.

- read the release