No Responsibility From Insulin Pump Companies

Last night, I attended an information session on insulin pumps at Diabetes WA. And this morning, I’ve got about a million things that I want to write about.

I’ve been on Multiple Daily Injections since I was diagnosed five years ago. I’ve never seriously considered an insulin pump, and I can’t say that I know too much about them. I’ve thought about going to one of these information sessions over the years, but it was just one of those things that I never got around to. Okay, truth be told I procratinated on RSVPing to those events until it was too late. Over and over.

I guess what motivated me this year was the fact that I am now a part of the Diabetes Online Community. I think, talk and write about diabetes every day. I feel more motivated towards my diabetes managment, just from interacting with you. I see so many of you blogging, tweeting, screenshotting and instagramming pump stuff each day. I want to understand it. And I want to seriously consider it as an option going forward.

Representatives from a few of the insulin pump companies were there to chat to before and after the session. And to be honest, they were absolute vultures. I’ve never seen such eager salespeople out there in full force, desperately wanting our business. When our fantastic host Margie asked for some sample tubing to show us, it literally seemed like a race to see which rep could get to Margie first. As I asked one of the reps if a meal bolus was as simple as inputting the number of carbs into the device, she began hurriedly cramming in as much information as she could before the talk resumed. I’ve never seen anything like it.

The topic of Continuous Glucose Monitors came up briefly. As I have written in recent days, Continuous Glucose Monitors aren’t subsidised by the government here in Australia. The cost of purchasing a CGM device and its operating consumables is excessive. While having a CGM may not matter to myself, I know that it could make a world of difference to young children and parents out there.

I thought it was rather interesting to hear the representatives in the room quickly removing themselves of any responsibility for those excessive costs. They urged us to write to our Members of Parliament. They urged us to lobby the government for subsidies towards CGMs and diabetes devices. As though it’s out of their hands.

These companies are responsible for the excessive costs of these devices. These companies are making a profit off of our disease. There are so many companies and product lines out there for that very reason. That vulture like behaviour occurs for that very reason. And I hardly got the feeling that these people genuinely wanted to help me make my diabetes management easier. I so badly wanted to know if they even had diabetes themselves!

I hope I haven’t taken anything away from the Diabetes WA session. It was fantastic and I have so much more to write about. Stay tuned – I’ll have more in the days to come.

At 10.41pm, I was cutting it close with yesterday’s #DOCtober photo. An exclusive look behind the scenes of the jacket I wore last night.

Behind the scenes look at my jacket. Spot the insulin pen. 💉 #DOCtober #diabetes

A photo posted by Frank (@franksita) on

 

4 thoughts on “No Responsibility From Insulin Pump Companies

  1. Hi Frank, what you wrote is exactly right! My son was 4 years old when we were pushed into getting a pump, it was on for three weeks and my child’s levels did not come down from 22. I took him off the pump and within 8 hours we stabilised his levels. The pump now sits in the garage as we cannot on sell it so it was a waste of $9,000.
    We recently purchased the CGM at a total cost of $2000 and a yearly cost of $5000 and as you wrote no rep was willing to really help in us acquiring one. It took four months of pestering to be able to finally secure a CGM.
    You are right in the fact that there is no profit in a cure, these companies are making millions off other peoples diseases. There will be no cure for diabetes as the multi national companies will loose too much money, it’s sad but true.
    I hope my son one day does receive a cure but I know it will not happen in his life time.

    1. Thanks Sandra! Those companies all try to sell the pumps with the promise of better blood sugar control. And as you’ve experienced, that’s not necessarily true all of the time. I really think that CGMs could be life changing to young children and parents, and I really do hope that we will see government and CGM companies working together to reduce costs and subsidise in the future (at least for those who need it most). I’m not super optimistic about a cure either, but it’s a nice thought 🙂

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