Required Reading – Complete
The attached article comes from today’s edition of the Toronto Star and should be required reading for everyone in the diabetes market. The article is particularly relevant not just because it is further evidence of the benefits of education. It concisely points out that patients with diabetes and the physicians that treat them are not just dealing with diabetes but other conditions as well.
“You’re not just treating their sugar, you’re treating all their coexisting potential risk factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure … and prevention of kidney disease, heart disease, eye damage … It takes time in the office to educate patients and to implement appropriate therapies. It’s not just a one-visit experience.” – Dr. Gwen Sampson
The article also correctly points out that primary care physicians lack the infrastructure to adequately deal with the diabetes epidemic.
Perhaps one day the companies in the diabetes market will realize that fancy technology and better drugs without an education is like fight a raging forest fire with a garden hose. Nearly 80% of patients with diabetes are treated by primary care physicians who lack the time and knowledge to adequately treat and educate their patients. Perhaps it’s no accident that nearly two-thirds of patients with diabetes (nearly the same percentage being treated by primary care) are not properly controlling their diabetes.
Diabetic Investor is somewhat encouraged as the education message appears to be gaining momentum. We are aware of several efforts underway to tackle this problem. It is our belief that the solution to this education crisis will not come from the government or the medical community. The reality is education must be a for-profit enterprise to succeed. Studies have proven that educated patients check their glucose levels more frequently, are more compliant with therapy their regimen and are less likely to need emergency room care. Most importantly these same studies show that educated patients stand a greater chance of achieving control and avoiding many of the devastating complications associated with diabetes.
As Derek Bok wrote when he was president of Harvard University- “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!” While these words weren’t directed at diabetes education they speak volumes and should be permanently displayed in the offices of every person involved in the business of diabetes.