Abbott Eyes CGM Market Beyond Diabetes Care


As consumer CGMs take off, diabetes tech leaders are moving in.

The latest: Med tech giant Abbott Laboratories announced sales of $10B for Q2 2023, making almost $20B for the first half of the year, despite COVID testing sales slowing.

Most notably, its diabetes care segment brought in sales of $1.4B, a 19.4% year-on-year growth.

Robert B. Ford, Abbott’s chairman and CEO, credits the “strong growth” to the company’s “underlying base business” and expects the trajectory to continue:

“We expect our highly productive pipeline to sustain the momentum we’re building this year and position us well for growth in the future.”

The Sweet Spot

Zooming in on CGM, the robust gains follow several significant developments in 2023 so far:

  • Sales of its FreeStyle Libre 2 system grew 25%, hitting $1.3B in Q2, and received expanded reimbursement in France on evidence it cut hopitalisations by 67%.
  • Preparations are underway for a US launch of FDA-cleared FreeStyle Libre 3, which was greenlit for automated insulin delivery in the UK.
  • A dual CGM sensor measuring glucose and ketones (and possibly lactate) is in progress, which could boost diabetes care for diet and exercise.

Meanwhile, consumer biowearable line Lingo – which measures glucose and will add ketones and lactate in the future – launched in the UK and is heading for other territories.

Why it matters: As the metabolic health crisis deepens, CGM market players are competing for both the healthcare and general wellness consumer. Abbott’s step across from B2B diabetes into wellness CGM territory – with rival manufacturer Dexcom on the move as well – will definitely stir up the market.

Disruption is almost guaranteed, as many of the CGM startups, such as myLevels, Levels (which entered the UK this February), Veri and Supersapiens, rely on hardware from Abbott and Dexcom – which share 53% and 39% of the market, respectively, while Medtronic has 8%.

Takeaway: Leveraging its far-reaching diabetes health market and respected name, Abbott has a wedge in the consumer CGM space, where it also supplies direct competitors. Bolstering insurance dollars with a DTC, subscription-based platform for athletes and health enthusiasts, Abbott (and Dexcom) threaten to challenge young startups where it matters most: price.