Why Not?

Why Not?

A few days ago we noted that the conventional glucose monitoring market was circling the bowl and there wasn’t much to be optimistic about. This market which was once thriving, throwing off gobs of cash has full commoditized with both usage and prices falling. Now back in the day the conventional wisdom was to place as many meters as possible which in turn would result in billions of test strips being used. Yes, it seemed that all a company had to do was hang out a shingle, come up with some fancy new technology and sales would follow.

After the market commoditized the new conventional wisdom was to transform this device into a way cool whiz bang cloud enabled device. A device that would not just measure a patient’s glucose but using a way cool whiz bang app, would transform this number into a patient relevant, patient actionable number. The theory being that patients would achieve better outcomes because a number that was once meaningless now was relevant. Even better since the device was cloud enabled messages could be sent to the patient, messages which, according to theory, would enhance their diabetes management skills.

Yet, over the past few days we think we have discovered a ray of sunshine among the dark clouds. Willie Sutton, a notorious bank robber who was once on the FBI’s Most Wanted listed, noted that the reason he robbed banks was because “that’s where the money is.” Now we have a no idea if Willie suffered from diabetes and we doubt he knew anything about the glucose monitoring market since it did not exist while he was alive but he just might have the solution on to save this market.

Rather than follow what we like to call the Wal Mart philosophy of stack it high and let it fly. Rather than trying to place millions of meters which in turn will use billions of test strips why not develop an ultra-slick way cool whiz bang cloud enabled system and market this system to rich people with diabetes. Even better why not take payors and physicians completely out of the loop and market this meter directly to the rich. People who can afford to pay $300 for this way cool device and $100 for a box of 100 test strips. No insurance, no dealing with payors. All the patient has to do is plop down their Platinum card.

To add some cache to this exclusive meter for the rich why not partner with some ultra-snazzy luxury goods maker. Perhaps Hermes, Chanel or Maserati. Listen these companies know all too well how the rich love buying exclusive stuff, stuff that most of us poor people just can’t and most likely could never afford.

Seriously think of the problems this solves, the biggest of course is the need for massive scale to have any chance at making money. Heck when your selling meters at 300 bucks a pop and strips for a $1 a pop believe us when we say this company is going to make money, likely gobs and gobs of it. Keep in mind even the most expensive meters cost less than 100 bucks to make and strips cost less than 10 cents to make, cha ching.

Think of the great promotional events there could be, instead of going to the normal diabetes shows this company could set up exclusive showings at yachting shows, polo matches and upscale art shows. These invitations only showings would only further create the air of exclusivity. Heck why not strike distribution deals not with Walgreens or CVS, but Nordstrom’s Saks or Barneys.

Come to think of it $300 is too low of a price and is actually in reach of some regular folk, let’s up the ante and make it $1,000. Then let’s throw in exclusive access to a Certified Diabetes Educator who will enhance the user experience. Heck if the rich are paying big bucks for concierge physicians who says they won’t pay big bucks to have their very own CDE.

Now at this point many are thinking ok Diabetic Investor has lost it and this time has gone completely off the reservation. That finally after covering this wacky world for 20 some odd years the mind is gone and senility has set in. These are likely the same people who now pay $10 for a cup of coffee or $15 for water. The same people who said no one would ever pay good money for the “right” to buy seasons tickets to sporting events. The same people who would have never believed that a loud mouth buffoon whose major claim to fame is being a reality TV star would be the Republican nominee for President.

Looked at from that perspective maybe it’s not crazy to believe in a $300 plus glucose meter. Why the hell not?