Finally some good news for the BGM market

Finally some good news for the BGM market

“It is essential that people with diabetes keep track of their blood glucose levels and asses the effectiveness of their therapy plan, this according to Sam Nussbaum, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP). This statement came from a press release issued by WellPoint as part of their new program that will provide free meters to their members.

Diabetic Investor welcomes this move by WellPoint and hopes it’s the beginning of trend among insurers and managed care companies. This move is particularly noteworthy as it flies in the face against a disturbing trend among many who believe that non-insulin patients have no reason to test. Hopefully WellPoint will take the next step and provide patient education along with their free meter. A free meter is good start but without learning what the test results mean that free meter will become just one more tool that goes unused.

Free meters have been a staple of the blood glucose monitoring market for years, yet average testing frequency has barley budged. Alternate site testing came along offering patients virtually pain free testing and still average testing frequency barley budged. Meter companies added the ability to download readings to software packages that analyzed the data and still average testing frequency barley budged. Currently meter companies are working on new meters which will turn the meter into an all in one device which is supposed to make testing easier and based on historical trends this will do little to increase testing frequency.

The fact of the matter is the cost of the meter has never been the problem, the real problem is that while everyone talks about providing patient education few put any money towards making education more accessible to the people who need it most; namely the patient. Too many studies have been published that show the clear and measurable benefits of patient education. In a nutshell the problem for meter companies has always been there is no clear and direct benefit to their bottom lines. These companies know that it is possible, even likely, that money spent on patient education does not mean that a patient will use their meter.

Diabetic Investor is encouraged by Dr. Nussbaum’s remarks and WellPoint’s good first step. Hopefully they will take the next step and provide their members with the education they so desperately need.

David Kliff
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