This and That

It never ceases to amaze us when a company issues a press release touting what they think is a big deal when in reality it’s a non-event. Here’s an example;

“DarioHealth Corp. (DRIO), a leading global digital health company with mobile health and big data solutions, announced today it has signed an agreement for the rollout of a Digital Diabetes Education and Rewards Program, powered by Dario, to Giant Eagle’s consumers through the pharmacy’s 214 locations. Giant Eagle is ranked among the top 40 on Forbes magazine’s list of largest private corporations in the U.S. It is one of the country’s largest food retailers and distributors with approximately $8.9 billion in annual sales.”

Now we don’t want to burst Dario’s bubble but the days of BGM are coming to end, Amazon is also now in the business and well while this is nice it’s also meaningless.

Example number two:

“Valeritas Holdings, Inc. (VLRX), a medical technology company and maker of V-Go® Wearable Insulin Delivery device, a simple, all-in-one,wearable insulin delivery option for patients with diabetes, announced today a poster titled “Relationship between Baseline BMI and Clinical Outcomes with V-Go® Wearable Insulin Delivery Device in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Previously Prescribed Basal-Bolus Regimens” was presented over the weekend at the 18th Annual Diabetes Technology Meeting in North Bethesda, Maryland.”

Valeritas last week released their earnings and all we can say is they aren’t exactly knocking the cover off the ball. As everyone knows we just don’t see an unmet medical need for any of these “dumb” patch pumps. A toy which will lose most of its limited appeal when Tyler arrives.

Example number three;

“AstraZeneca today announced positive full results from the DECLARE-TIMI 58 cardiovascular (CV) outcomes trial (CVOT) for FARXIGA (dapagliflozin). The data were presented as a late-breaking abstract (#19485) at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2018 in Chicago, IL, and simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).1”

Yes, this is good news but also meaningless as payors don’t base decisions on study data, not when there are multiple drugs in the category which all do basically the same thing the same way. When it comes to diabetes drugs the answer is money, the question is what is the most important factor payors consider when making formulary decisions.

We aren’t making fun of these companies, ok maybe we are, but the reality is these events are ultimately non-events in the larger scope of things. As we have noted before it will take a few years for BGM to fade away and during that time it will be companies like LifeScan, Roche and now Amazon who will garner most of this shrinking market. The “dumb” patch pump market is really a non-market and will never reach scale so any of these companies can make any money. And finally, the diabetes drug market for the most part is a commodity market where price trumps performance.

Now none of these facts will stop companies from issuing press releases but as Momma Kliff used to say; “There’s news and then there is white noise don’t confuse one with the other.”