Novo Nordisk is losing about 165,000 pounds to decrease its risk of Type II bad financials. That’s InsightCity’s estimate for the combined weight of the 1,000 people being let go from the company to remain competitive in the face of increasing competition in the diabetes market and pricing pressures in the U.S. Along with its slim-down in staff will come the trimming of its diabetes prospects in development, according to Chief Executive Officer Lars Rebien Soerensen. According to Soerensen, products without substantial innovation will be culled from the pipeline to maximize their candidates’ reimbursement potential. Remember, to reduce your risk of needing one of their new, innovative products, eat this. Not this.
When doctors tell you to take your medicine, eat well, and exercise, you should listen, right? Especially if you have a chronic illness like Type 2 Diabetes. Easier said than done, it seems. The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics has released a report showing that under 40% of Type 2 Diabetes patients globally achieve optimal levels of adherence and persistence. 4-15% of costs related to treating Type 2 Diabetes complications are associated with failure to properly follow medication and treatment regimens. In the US, these avoidable complications cost Medicare $4 billion every year. Ouch. Let’s all try listening to our doctors. Let’s lace up our sneakers and go find some Pokémon. Our bodies and wallets will be healthier for it.
IBM’s Watson Health is quickly becoming a major player in the healthcare industry. But what do they need in order to showcase Watson’s mega-thinking ability? Data. And who has this in abundance? The American Diabetes Association, 66 years’ worth to be exact. These two have recently teamed up to begin training Watson to understand diabetes. A major outcome of this partnership is the development of a cognitive app, called Sugarwise, which works with Medtronic’s insulin pumps to analyze glucose levels and automatically adjust the insulin dosage. Here’s where Watson really shines: it has the ability to add these personalized treatments to the vast amount of patient records on file to create a go-to source to help researchers and doctors detect patterns and find new treatments.
UnitedHealthcare has announced that Medtronic will soon become the sole in-network insulin pump manufacturer for UHC’s commercial and Medicaid plan members. Though patients are permitted to continue using their existing pump until it is out of warranty and needs to be replaced, patients are not exactly jazzed about this new lack of options. Patients, advocacy groups, and not surprisingly, Medtronic’s competitor Tandem Diabetes Care, are pushing back publically. Patients and advocacy groups are using Twitter hashtags #DiabetesAccessMatters and #MyPumpMyChoice to voice their displeasure. One tweet reads, “If you can’t decide what to have for lunch just ask @MDT_Diabetes & @myUHC they know everything #MypumpMyChoice.” Whether sarcasm and tweets will be enough to change UHC’s policy remains to be seen.