Listen Up BGM Companies
For years Diabetic Investor has been telling anyone who would listen that the reason patients do not regularly check their glucose levels has nothing to do with “pain” rather that patients do not value this information. Backing up our belief is Teresa L. Pearson, MS, RN, Director, Diabetes Care, Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who wrote; “In summary, as clinicians, our job is to help our patients make the connection between their blood glucose numbers, how they feel, and their level of risk for complications that will prevent them from accomplishing their goals. If patients don’t ultimately see the value of this to themselves, checking regularly will continue to be a challenge.”
Still the major BGM companies are having a hard time convincing themselves that education is more valuable than sophisticated technology, meter skins or celebrity endorsements. They talk a good game when it comes to education but in the end that’s all we hear; talk. And talk as everyone knows is cheap.
Given the dismal state of BGM, where companies are laying off sales reps and eliminating divisions, one might think that these companies would finally wake up and realize that they can increase sales with a better educated patient population. They just might realize without such an effort that their very existence is a stake. But as Brooks Atkinson wrote; “People everywhere enjoy believing things they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know.”
The question is will anyone step up to the plate and take the lead here or will we continue to proceed down a path that will surly lead to the destruction of a once vibrant industry. Anyone who doubts this need only look at what happening to the US auto industry, once a source of pride now on the verge of extinction. Rather than adapt to changing market dynamics the industry continued to proceed down a path of self-destruction. Rather than listen to the many who accurately pointed out that major change was needed, they continued to hold on to long held beliefs that no longer applied. Even today facing bankruptcy and asking the government for billions of taxpayer’s money, the industry appears ill-equipped to see what needs to be done.
Without action a similar fate awaits the entire BGM industry. Should they continue to ignore the realities of the market it’s only a matter of time before the Big Four becomes the little three or minor two. Once hefty margins, already shrinking, will shrink even further finally completing the transition to a pure commodity market where price is the only thing that matters. This is the future and without major changes there is nothing that can be done to stop it.