There is justice in the world
Diabetic Investor does not normally take pleasure when anyone is diagnosed with diabetes or do we enjoy seeing anyone ripped relentlessly in the media but when it comes to Paula Deen we must make an exception. While the response to Ms. Deen’s hypocrisy may have gotten off to a slow start, once the ball got rolling it’s been relentless. Kudos to diabetes blogger Amy Tenderich, publisher of Diabetesmine, as she scored an interview with Ms. Deen shortly after this story broke. (http://www.diabetesmine.com/2012/01/our-interview-with-paula-deen-sticky-sweet.html)
Now that Ms. Deen is getting the drilling she so richly deserves, we should our attention to what the folks at Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) will do. Now if Novo had any brains at all they would run away from Ms. Deen faster than Usain Bolt runs the 100 meter dash. Just as Diabetic Investor finds it laughable that Ms. Deen says she’s donating a portion of her fee to diabetes research, we find equally hypocritical that Novo would even consider using Ms. Deen as a spokesperson as her cooking style and personal eating habits are the exact opposite of what a person with diabetes is supposed to do. We would even go a step further and state that her cooking style and recipes actually can cause a person to develop type 2 diabetes.
One also has to question Novo’s judgment as they have some pretty serious business issues to worry about not the least of which being that Victoza, the product Ms. Deen is endorsing, is about to face some very serious competition from Amylin’s (NASDAQ:AMLN) once-weekly GLP-1 Bydureon. As we noted yesterday, assuming the FDA has not lost what’s left of their mind, Bydureon’ s PUDFA date is January 28th and Diabetic Investor believes the drug will receive approval. (Is it poetic justice that stories are starting to pop up questioning Victoza’ s safety profile now that Ms. Deen is endorsing the drug? Something Novo needed like a hole in the head right when Bydureon is coming to market.)
As Diabetic Investor has noted previously Novo sales reps are scared to death about Bydureon as they know physicians and patients will prefer a once-weekly administration over a once-daily. These same reps also see what Diabetic Investor sees in that the short-acting insulin market is transforming itself into a commodity market where price trumps performance. They see Novo losing share to Lilly (NYSE:LLY) who has become overly aggressive at capturing managed care contracts and they know it won’t be too long before generic insulin gets here.
While the company does have Degludec and DegludecPlus before the FDA, even if these drugs are approved it may be too little too late as Lantus isn’t going anywhere and will also soon be losing its patent protection. As Diabetic Investor has noted before Novo Nordisk is used to producing premium products and charging premium prices. Today the market is demanding premium products at generic prices a situation that is giving the company fits. Add in the fact that the company’s pipeline is as weak as we have ever seen and it’s not a very pretty picture for the company.
It’s pretty obvious that the last thing this company needs is be associated with hypocritical celebrity who cares only about her pocketbook. That they have bigger issues to worry about and should distance themselves from this walking disaster of a spokesperson as quickly as possible. To Diabetic Investor this is a test of Novo’s management – will they stand up for patients or will they bastardize themselves to make a few bucks?