In what can only be called a stunning move the sales forces for Abbott, Roche and Medtronic have formed a strategic alliance. Calling themselves ARM, the group plans to demand that management start living in the real world and stop worrying about what type of toilet paper should be used in the executive restrooms.
A spokeswoman for ARM contacted Diabetic Investor to explain the reasons why such drastic action is necessary and cover what plans they have for the future. “Frankly we just couldn’t take it anymore. Management fails to listen to any of our concerns and we’re getting sick and tired of watching management run once great companies into the ground” commented Ms. Frankenfutter. According to Ms. Frankenfutter among ARM’s plans to get management to sit up and take notice the group plans mass sit-ins at company headquarters and a series of newspaper ads.
When asked to comment on the new group and their concerns a spokesperson for Abbott wasn’t even aware they had any sales reps left. Commenting that since their market share continues to fall into the abyss it really doesn’t matter as pretty soon no one will be using Abbott products anyway.
Roche on the other hand is taking the situation seriously commenting that soon they will have a new meter which sells itself and therefore they too can eliminate their entire sales team. According to Roche this new meter will contain every conceivable feature that a patient could want. Not only will it measure glucose readings but contain a GPS system, have the ability to download music from iTunes and communicate seamlessly with all major cellular phones. While the company would not say when this new meter will be available they did comment that a prototype could be seen at the upcoming ADA conference in June.
Medtronic for their part noted they were studying the situation and did not want to comment as they have yet to formulate a strategy on how to deal with ARM. Sources inside the company tell Diabetic Investor that among the options being considered are suing the group for patent infringement. When Diabetic Investor explained that ARM does not make any products and there would be no IP issues our source commented that it really doesn’t matter as this strategy worked so well in the past the company really doesn’t know how to do anything else.
Concerned that this movement may spread to other companies in the diabetes market and put a serious dent in the sales of diabetes devices and drugs Diabetic Investor contacted several companies seeking comment. The general consensus among drug companies was that it really doesn’t concern them much given that the FDA isn’t likely to approve any new diabetes drugs for the foreseeable future. With the new FDA guidelines in place and all the concern over cardiovascular events most drug companies believe that patients and the physicians who treat them will just have to be happy with the existing therapy options available whether they work or not.
The reaction by the device community was mixed. While some companies were clearly worried that they could no longer sell devices with advanced technology that only a handful of patients ever use. Others believed that there could be a technological solution to the problem and have begun researching how they could replace their sales teams using sophisticated technology. When asked if given this situation they might finally embrace the simple, yet very effective sales tool of actually educating patients as to why they should be using all this fancy technology several companies commented this would be a foolish approach to actually follow a strategy that actually works in the real world. As one company put it; “Why the heck would we want to educate patients? That’s not our job and besides this would mean we could no longer waste millions of dollars on whiz bang technology that does nothing to help patients but sure sounds cool.”
Looking to get perspective on this situation Diabetic Investor turned to our resident expert Muffin the Wonder Dog. Not normally one to comment publicly Muffin was clearly unimpressed by ARM efforts and the reaction of the companies. She noted that for years companies have lived in denial not wanting to see what’s happening in the real world. Adding “T.S. Eliot once said Human kind cannot bear very much reality.” Who knew that a dog could be so smart?
Happy April Fool’s Day.