Hypocrisy reaches new heights

Hypocrisy reaches new heights

“There are still concerns about the high costs of CGM and the accuracy of the various systems available”; this statement was made by David Klonoff, MD, of Mills-Peninsula Health Services in San Mateo, California.  Dr. Klonoff was quoted in an article entitled “Continuous Glucose Monitoring Beneficial in Maintaining Target Blood Glucose Levels for People with Diabetes” that Diabetic Investor found online at www.newswise.com. The article covers some new guidelines issued by the Endocrine Society on CGM usage and states; “The Endocrine Society released a clinical practice guideline (CPG) providing recommendations on settings where patients are most likely to benefit from continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).”

It should be noted that Dr. Klonoff was the chair of the task force that authored the CPG.  Here is just some of what the new CPG contains;

“Use of CGM with currently approved devices in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) because it will assist in maintaining target HbA1c levels while limiting the risk of hypoglycemia;

Use of CGM devices by adult patients with T1DM who have demonstrated they can use these devices on a nearly daily basis; and

Refrainment from using CGM alone for glucose management in the intensive care unit or operating room until further studies provide sufficient evidence for its accuracy and safety in those settings.”

Here’s another fact that should be noted Dr. Klonoff just happens to be associated with company recently covered by Diabetic Investor; C8 MediSensors. According to the company’s webs site Dr. Klonoff is the company’s medical advisor. Now before we go any further Diabetic Investor did speak with a C8 company official who stated that Dr. Klonoff is not compensated by the company for this position nor does he own a stake in the company. Still it seems odd to Diabetic Investor that as the company’s medical advisor he would state that there are concerns “about the high costs of CGM and the accuracy of the various systems available.”

Why is it odd?  Well as it turns out the system C8 plans to sell costs $4,000 and surprise, surprise besides costing a small fortune the company is claiming they have the most accurate system.  We also find it somewhat disturbing that the good doctor would be allowed to chair such an important task force given his relationship to the company. Again in fairness to Dr. Klonoff the guidelines, under the section Financial Disclosures of the Task Force, state;

“DavidC.Klonoff,M.D.,F.A.C.P.(chair)—FinancialorBusiness/Organizational Interests: Bayer, C8 MediSensors, Insuline, LifeScan, Medtronic Diabetes, Roche; Significant Financial Interest or Leadership Position: Diabetes Technology Society.”

We should also point Dr. Klonoff is not the only member of the committee who has a relationship, financial or otherwise, with a CGM company as both Dexcom (NASDAQ:DXCM) and Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) were represented on the committee.

Perhaps we should look at this another way since Dr. Klonoff thinks CGM systems are too expensive  maybe just maybe he should mention this to the very people he is advising; the same people who plan on charging $4,000 for their system. He might also mention before they go around claiming they have the most accurate system on the planet that the company provide some actual clinical data to back up this claim. Back when Diabetic Investor interviewed the folks at C8 they did mention they would make public actual clinical data and the forum for this release; a diabetes technology conference that is run by Dr. Klonoff.

Diabetic Investor has no problem with the CPG, nor do we have a problem with the other members of the committee who have ties to other CGM companies. The problem lies in comments made by Dr. Klonoff after the CPG went public. To Diabetic Investor this is like a politician who votes for a bill and then goes on television after the vote stating that bill he just voted for was too expensive and really didn’t work that well.

As Diabetic Investor has stated before it’s quite possible we are all wrong about C8 and the data will actually back up their extravagant claims and justify its hefty price tag. It’s also possible that pigs will fly.

To Diabetic Investor this whole situation smacks of hypocrisy and believes Dr. Klonoff might be wise to head the words of Publius Syrus who noted; “There should be no disagreement between our lives and our doctrines.”