Sledgehammer

Sledgehammer

There are days when we sit at our computer reading news stories or analyst reports and start laughing out loud. Today is one of those days. The first chuckle came reading the various analysis of MannKind (NASDAQ: MNKD) recent earnings report. Yep it’s finally dawning on people that hey maybe it’s not such a good idea to make something for dollars, sell it for pennies and spend a ton of money in the process.

Another good chuckle happened when we read an article about CellNovo, who in case you haven’t heard is an OmniPod wannabe. The writer ponders when this way cool whiz bang toy, which in all honesty is nothing that special will arrive here in the US. To wit we say who the hell cares. Like CellNovo, who by the way has been around forever and has nothing to show for all the money invested (no surprise either) will be any different than other insulin pump company not named Medtronic (NYSE: MDT)

We also get a good laugh from the comments we receive on social media. Whether it’s Twitter or Facebook people seriously believe that – we’re a big fan of Medtronic (not exactly) – that we hate Tandem (NASDAQ: TNDM) – we don’t – and we believe Afrezza doesn’t work – never said that. But why let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory. No wonder these people love the West Coast Mafia as it sure is nice to look out the window during a major thunderstorm and see nothing but sunshine.

Yet what makes us laugh most is what happens when another one of our predictions come true. The reactions are just priceless. Now rather than give credit where credit is due these people will explain the facts away in some very creative terms. Listen Momma Kliff didn’t raise a wallflower and quite frankly we could care less what these people think. After 20 plus years covering this wacky world we have learned a few things one of which is if you want a friend get a dog.

The reality is there are some very passionate people out in diabetes land and thankfully we are glad they exist. And to be honest we will give patients a pass when it comes to separating diabetes the chronic disease from the business of diabetes. To those of us who live with diabetes we could care less who wins and who loses as long as we have access to the drugs and devices that help us manage our diabetes. The problem comes when the business of diabetes interferes with how we manage our diabetes.

Think for a moment what Animas patients are going through right now and what Tandem patients are about to go through. These patient’s lives are being turned upside down not by anything they did but because these companies were run into the ground. The business of diabetes is adversely impacting their lives and just to get kicked in teeth too these mistakes made by others are costing them money. Nothing like getting hit in the mouth and then just for grins and giggles get kicked in the groin too. Sure, sounds like fun doesn’t it.

We often write that the people in management have different goals than patients. Management’s main goals are to make as much money as possible, advance their careers so they can make even more money and do nothing that rocks the boat. Patients just want their diabetes to go away, which it won’t or in lieu of that have less interaction with their diabetes – which isn’t possible. They would also love it if when they called for help they weren’t left on hold for hours on end and then when someone finally comes on the line that they weren’t treated like blithering idiots.

See management doesn’t care that some of these patients cannot afford all the way cool toys or newer drugs. To them that’s someone else’s job. But who? As we have seen the ADA and JDRF two organizations that should care have shown they too are clueless. The JDRF just want more donations, so they can play with their toys and heavens knows what the ADA wants other than bashing industry with one side of their two faces and then asking industry to pony up bucks from their other face.

The sad fact is it’s not until most people are hit over the head with a very large and heavy sledgehammer that they acknowledge the truth. See the truth are like pesky facts, they don’t go away just because they do not jive with this myth that anyone other than the patient cares about the patient.

We do not like the fact that the business of diabetes gets in the way of the management of diabetes, but it is a fact. We do not like that some companies are run by incompetent management, but this is also a fact. We don’t like that many who pretend to be patient advocates care only about shameless self-promotion and are oblivious to what’s happening, but this is also a fact. We do not like it that it takes a sledgehammer to get these facts understood.

How many more pump companies need to fail before people wake up? How many more way cool whiz bang toys must come along before people realize it’s not about the toys? How much more money will be wasted? Most importantly how much longer must patients pay the price?

As Momma Kliff used to say; “If hitting someone with a sledgehammer doesn’t get their attention don’t give up just get something bigger that will and keep swinging.” When it comes to the wacky world of diabetes we’re beginning to think the only option that will work is the nuclear option and even that might not work.