Three notable events occurred during the weekend and none of them are really all that notable, more like expected. Friday in a move that should surprise no one the FDA rejected sotagliflozin confirming once more when it comes to diabetes Sanofi has the reverse Midas touch. Even if the FDA had approved the drug it really didn’t have much of a future and would have done little to offset what Sanofi is losing in the insulin space.
Next at ENDO 2019: The Endocrine Society Annual Meeting in New Orleans what looked like big news was a study revealed that nearly 40% of the patients using the way cool whiz bang 670G stop using the system after 9 months. There is a pretty well down post about this on Medscape (https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/910854) but my favorite part from this piece is;
“Anders L. Carlson, MD, medical director of the International Diabetes Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, agreed.
“Automated insulin delivery is the future,” he told assembled journalists here at ENDO 2019, “but the sensors need to get better.”
Now we don’t want to gloat that once again we were ahead of the curve stating that the 670G wasn’t all that great. That in spite of all the hype it really wasn’t that all that it was being made out to be. Momma Kliff told us never to let your detractors know that you are truly enjoying being 100% right when they were 100% wrong. That once again you had it right from the beginning and these people are just what we said they were nothing but two faced hypocrites. Since Mom told us not to say that we won’t.
What we will say is Medtronic has a real problem on their hands and changing management isn’t the solution as the wrong guy is being shown the door. It’s company CEO Omar Ishrak who should be shown the door as this guy is truly living in lala land. It’s bad enough that his performance at the J P Morgan Healthcare Conference was a disaster but as bad as he was at that event it gets worse.
According to our sources inside the company the diabetes team told Omar in no uncertain terms that there was no way in hell that their stand-alone CGM system could compete and become the billion franchise he keeps saying it will become. His response and we are paraphrasing here was if you guys can’t make that happen, I’ll find someone who can. To quote our wine consultant “This guy is delusional”.
Saying this piece of junk can compete against the Dexcom G6 or the FreeStyle Libre is like saying we can still win any of the NCAA pools we are in. It was a great weekend of college basketball and that Duke UCF game was an instant classic, but our brackets unfortunately look like a Christmas tree with way too much red instead of green. Unlike Omar however we have accepted our fate and have no delusions that we can still pull a rabbit out of the hat.
The harsh reality is this management team is about to do what we once thought was impossible, kill the goose that is laying all those very profitable eggs. The company is facing serious competition from Tandem, Insulet and the we want it now movement. They don’t have a credible solution that will fix the problems with their sensor and they foolishly hold the belief they don’t need outside help. Right now it almost doesn’t matter how the FDA’s investigation turns out as the company is doing an outstanding job all by themselves running this once great franchise into the ground.
Oh and the last thing that happened this weekend that also turned out to be a non-event, Robert Mueller at long last finished his report and sent it to the Justice Department. Yet in a way this report is not unlike what’s going on with the 670G. When the 670G was first approved everyone was falling all over each other heaping praise on this way cool whiz bang toy. The JDRF and West Coast Mafia went out of their way to hail this news.
Yet just as the Mueller Report didn’t live up to what many expected the 670G isn’t the way cool whiz bang toy everyone, everyone but us, thought it was. We know Mom told us not to gloat that we should accept victory with grace and dignity. That being right when everyone was wrong should be enough. Given that the JDRF and the West Coast Mafia will never admit they were wrong it will have to be enough. But damn it sure does feel good knowing that once again we had it right, had it right before anyone else and did not wavier in our stance.