June 29, 2011
ADA – That’s a wrap onto Vegas
As the city of San Diego clears out and everyone heads home for the fourth of July holiday here are some final thoughts on what transpired these past few days.
- It’s becoming increasingly obvious that given the epidemic growth rate in diabetes that the deck is stacked against smaller companies. Noticeably absent at this year’s conference were small to mid-size medical device and drug companies. While there was a handful in attendance they were majorly outgunned by the big guys. The current economy can explain some of this but Diabetic Investor believes this trend towards bigger companies will continue and is somewhat unfortunate as these small to mid-size companies were great sources of innovation.
- Another trend unfortunately is the introduction of me-too drugs and devices. Tradjenta is the perfect example of this of this trend. No matter how Lilly (NYSE:LLY) tries to state otherwise this is a me-too third to market drug which offers only a slight difference from its two competitors. This difference is not significant and Lilly would spent lavishly to promote Tradjenta will come to regret their decision to move forward with this drug. But Lilly isn’t the only company guilty of this follow the leader thinking as Diabetic Investor saw too many drugs and devices that were nothing more than copycats of what’s already on the market.
- Amylin (NASADQ: AMLN) continues its roller coaster ride at ADA’s. Amylin has gone from the bell of the ball to the outhouse and back. Yet each time it appears the company seems to be on the brink of failure it comes roaring back and dumbfounds its many critics. Diabetic Investor saw nothing at this year’s conference that changes our opinion that Bydureon has the potential to be game changing technology. Let’s hope Lilly comes to their senses and settles with Amylin so that millions of patients are not denied the opportunity to have access to this drug.
- Although we’re getting tired of writing about the FDA and the many hurdles they are placing in front of innovation this is the most disturbing trend of all. Unfortunately Diabetic Investor sees no end in sight. The way things are going Americans will end up with less choices and more expensive drugs and devices. There is no question reform is needed however, the question is what this reform will look like. If people like Dr. Steven Nissen have their way, the situation will go from bad to worse and that is a chilling thought. Diabetic Investor believes it’s time for drug and device companies to make their voices heard and get a set at the reform table. If they maintain their polite silence as they are afraid to offend the agency that approves their products they will have no one but themselves to blame when reform comes and that reform makes their lives even more difficult.
- It’s on to Vegas and the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) conference the first week of August. As much as Diabetic Investor enjoys the ADA conference, AADE is by far our favorite. There is nothing better than being around people so passionate about helping patients with diabetes. Diabetic Investor has said it before and we’ll say it again – these people who are overworked and under paid understand all too well the uphill battle faced by millions of patients each day. Thank goodness for their efforts and nothing better than treating them to a great time in Sin City.