Dear Olivier and Serge
Let’s get this out of the way right now WE ARE ENCOURAGING YOU TO SHARE WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ.
As everyone knows the “high” out of pocket cost of insulin has received a great deal of attention. Although this “problem” is not as large as many think it does exist. Unfortunately for all the insulin companies the narrative has been set and they are the bad guys. They are portrayed as big bad Pharma depriving patients of the drug they need to stay alive because they want to make a buck.
Over the past year or so we have written extensively on this subject trying to do what others can’t; tell the truth while presenting all sides of a complex problem. But we have done something else others can’t, we have actually come up with a simple, elegant solution to the problem.
There is no question there is a subset of patents who legitimately cannot afford their insulin. There is also another group who needs some help but not 100% help. Therefore, we set out to create a non-profit which establishes criteria for financial assistance. Have everything done online, use existing infrastructure to get the insulin to patients and provide financial assistance to the patient DIRECTLY also using technology.
The mission of this non-profit would not discriminate between which insulin is used by the patient or whether the patient is a Type 1 or Type 2. The sole purpose is to help those who are truly in need. Now just so we are clear we also expect something from any patient who qualifies for assistance, pay it forward. Meaning simply some will require assistance for only a short period of time but when they can afford their insulin we expect them to drop off the program. This may be a pipedream but we are strong believers in patient responsibility.
Just so we are clear we are providing a broad-brush overview here. Consider this what in the old days they called an elevator pitch.
Given that we are not independently wealthy our goal was to have all THREE insulin companies provide the initial funding. Again, to be clear all we wanted is money and nothing else. We did this for their benefit as it insulates them from the decisions we make. We also did this as quite frankly they have all done a terrible job of promoting the programs they offer. Of course, we would disclose who donated so they would reap the positive PR. But quite frankly the less they are involved other than money the better.
So far, we have meet with Lilly who is earnestly considering our proposal and Novo Nordisk who said thanks but no thanks. But what burns our butt is Sanofi won’t even meet with us. Yep it seems our good buddy Serge and his partner in crime Olivier aren’t to happy with what we have written over the years. Sorry if the truth hurts but hey it is what it is.
Frankly this is so Sanofi an organization that could screw up a winning lottery ticket. Listen we aren’t found of these people either but this isn’t about us or Sanofi THIS IS ABOUT HELPING PATIENTS.
There are patients who through no fault of their own need help. They don’t want a handout they NEED insulin to stay alive and they can’t afford it. These patients don’t want to spend hours filling out forms they NEED insulin to live. Our program would be simple, elegant and VERY effective. Our program wouldn’t waste money which should be going to patients who need help. By using existing infrastructure and technology our cost will be low SO MORE MONEY GETS IN THE HANDS OF PATIENTS WHO NEED INSULIN.
Sanofi could have shown they cared about patients, meet with us and then pulled a Novo saying thanks but no thanks. This would have shown that no matter how badly they have screwed up their diabetes franchise they actually care more patients than profits. Nope rather than think of the patient, the patient who needs insulin to live they let a personal grudge get in the way. Seriously we thought this kind of childish behavior ended back we we graduated high school.
What our wine drinking friends fail to realize is there was a time when we thought the company was the cat’s meow, that they had to together in diabetes. But as all things Sanofi and diabetes they screwed it up they could not build on the enormous success of Lantus and become a player. They could not execute. About all they could do was waste money and screw up partnerships.
So here they have a chance to do something good, something that will have a direct, immediate and positive impact on the patients they say they care about. But nope their feelings are hurt because we told the truth. Poor babies. This is beyond childish but it is so Sanofi.