Today I’ve written about both the Triangle of Diabetes Care, which seems to be sponsored by Abbott, and the Libre accuracy study. These two components together give Abbott an opportunity to make a killing in the Diabetes world, if healthcare professionals and organisations can be brought along for the ride.
What am I talking about? Let’s start with the Libre.
Most Libre users up to this point are type 1 diabetics. A limited user base of a few million globally. This is not appealing to a corporation. Expanding the user base to type 2s is a very different proposition, and increases the user base 10 fold. Around 21 million diagnosed people in the US, vs 2 million type 1s, and the population of T2ds is growing.
The recent study proves that across T1s and T2s, the Libre has an accuracy in line with a standard SMBG meter, and the Clarke and consensus error grids look very similar. So we know that the Libre can be relied on in place of finger prick testing.
Now, the triangle of Diabetes Care. How does that come in to play? Well it promotes the Ambulatory Glucose Profile as a brilliant mechanism for pattern spotting (which it is) and seeks to convince healthcare professionals that more glucose testing is best for both T1s and T2s and that in doing so, pattern recognition and both behavioural change and treatment adjustment are possible. There is little to argue against this as well.
But one of the frequently held up reasons for not providing SMBG to Type 2s is the pain and discouragement of finger pricking, and the depression the numbers can cause.
But what if you didn’t have to finger prick multiple times a day? What if you do something a tiny bit painful, once a fortnight and could test as much as you wanted, accurately? Wouldn’t that be a panacea? And what if, instead of numbers, you could see a representation of your typical day and could use that with the knowledge of what you’ve done and eaten, to change your behaviour and treatment? And the Libre provides both of these.
And what if the Libre was part of the prescribable monitoring solution in every developed country? Then there would be a lot of users. And what if it was marketed to physical training instructors and the health industry as a way of understanding glucose levels and by proxy, insulin response? Wouldn’t that also widen the prospective audience?
The Libre isn’t a solution for T1 diabetics. With the Triangle of Diabetes Care it is an attempt to become a key part of the T2 monitoring world, on prescription and while it would help T2s enormously, it will generate a huge amount of revenue for Abbott in the process.
Make no mistake. The route that Abbott has taken so far is well planned and could be very lucrative. But well done the strategists. It does two things. It helps many patients get better results whilst at the same time providing Abbott a great addition to the bottom line.
Let’s just hope the NHS understand this and negotiate the right price when they finally get it on to prescription.