Observations from afar

While we are not attending ATTD in Madrid we have been following the conference on social media and communicating with people who are in attendance. Based on the feedback we’ve received we really haven’t missed all that much. With this being basically one huge toy fair it’s not surprising that social media is dominated with posts on CGM, pumps, etc. However a few items have caught our eye.

Believe it or not Roche might actually be dumb enough to launch the Solo. Now for those unfamiliar with the Solo it’s another OmniPod wannabe yet with a long history. The Solo was originally develop by a company called Medingo which Roche acquired in April of 2010 for about $160 million. Now for those with short memories or new to the wacky world this isn’t Roche’s first rodeo with pumps as they acquired Disetronic in 2003 for almost $2 BILLION.

What happened to Disetronic? Well after spending $2 billion Roche ran the company into the ground. Something we thought they were repeating when they bought Medingo, only at a cheaper price. But nope to prove they can run not one but two insulin pump companies into the ground they plan on launching the redesigned Solo. Seriously do we really have to say it anymore but there is no cure for stupid.

We really wish people would stop posting stuff about CGM as we all know that CGM works, it’s going to become the standard for glucose measurement and that Dexcom has the best system on the planet. The Libre from Abbott works just fine and perhaps one day the Libre2 will be here. Still all this hype as well deserved as it is, is just a little over the top. Kind of like saying Tom Brady is a good quarterback or that LeBron James is a decent basketball player – really ya think.

One post we found interesting was a slide which noted what patients are talking about on social media in the UK. Not surprisingly the most popular topics for Type 1’s were the toys in the toy chest while Type 2’s tended to talk about diet. We weren’t shocked by this, but it does point to how these two groups look at their diabetes and why all these coaching companies are going to have a hard time. The fact is life is getting much easier for insulin using patients but not for non-insulin patients.

Thanks to all the great toys in the toy chest insulin therapy is becoming pretty easy. We’d never say that insulin therapy is enjoyable but thanks to all these whiz bang way cool toys much of the heavy lifting, much of the risk of insulin therapy has been eliminated. The same cannot be said for non-insulin using patients or to be clearer Type 2 patients who do not use a GLP-1. Like it or not there is no way we know of to make things easier for these people. To achieve better outcomes it’s up to them. Whiz bang way cool technology won’t help these people much and it won’t make them take their meds as prescribed.

This is what investors fail to grasp when valuing all these coaching companies. The people who need their help most, the largest group of patients don’t see their condition as serious, they see it as weight problem not a medical problem. They don’t see much value in whiz bang way cool toys and see even less value in using them on a regular basis. Yet there is still this foolish belief that whiz-bang way cool toys are the answer when what we need is a different approach to these patients who are not and likely never will be highly engaged with their diabetes management.

We see that Medtronic is still trying to tell everyone that the future will be better than the present. That the 780G will be much better than the 670G. The only problem is even if the 780G is better it just might be too late when it gets here. Based on everything we’ve been hearing the Control IQ is not just having the 670G for lunch but is about to have it for dinner then desert. Yes, we know it’s still early in the launch of the Control IQ however the early results indicate the Control IQ is everything we expected it to be and more.

As we have said many times should 670G patients begin converting to the Control IQ in greater numbers it’s game over for Medtronic. The fact is these patients aren’t going to wait around for the 780G to get here with the Control IQ already here and producing such amazing results. Simply put Medtronic can say whatever they want but all this talk won’t change the dynamics that are playing out in the real-world right this very moment.

The fact is the diabetes toy chest as full as it is now will only get fuller. In the future patients will have even more toys to play with, toys which will make their lives much easier. Yet for the largest patient population, Type 2’s that are on orals alone all these toys are pretty much useless as they aren’t played with. Whiz bang way cool technology won’t solve the problem in this group and the sooner everyone understands this the better it will be.