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Disclosure: I Haz One

June 28, 2010

A few months ago, when Medtronic Minimed announced their new Revel Paradigm system, I was very eager to give it a try. I had been waffling between staying on the Minimed system and switching – partially – to a DexCom CGM while staying on the Minimed insulin pump. Difficulties abounded with the Minimed CGM, as you have probably heard if you’re part of the D community, and I was frustrated that it was not working as well as I would have desired.

But seeing as how I have invested ten years of my life into this company, I thought, Why not give them the benefit of the doubt?

After a series of emails with the folks at Medtronic Minimed’s PR team (who are lovely folks, by the way), I have entered into an agreement with them as followed:

I received a new Revel paradigm insulin pump and 3 months of sensors gratis in exchange for contributing a series of articles to the Minimed website about life as a person with diabetes who uses an insulin pump. I will also participate in a consumer focus group at Minimed’s headquarters in Los Angeles sometime in the next year. I am not required to write about or endorse the Minimed insulin pump system on my blog, and as far as their concerned, I never have to write about them ever again. Of course, I will, which is why I am telling you about my new agreement with them.

Medtronic Minimed will never review or edit my blog posts and they have no control over what I say. In fact, I could say I hated the Revel Paradigm pump and there is nothing they can do about it. If I do choose to stop using the Minimed CGM system, I am free to do so as I wish.

I have always supported Minimed and I have always thought they were a great company. A little slow, perhaps, but well-intentioned. My hope is that with my feedback and participation, I can voice concerns as a patient advocate that will be listened to and considered  during future upgrades.

Edit: I briefly wanted to make one addition. Medtronic is also a client of my company, WCG. I do not in fact work on any of the Medtronic business. The Revel Paradigm insulin pump is not a project that my company works on, so it does not pose a conflict of interest. If, at some point, I am assigned to work on Medtronic Minimed or another diabetes product that I would blog about, I will disclose that relationship. While there are diabetes-related products that I work on at WCG, I have not blogged about these products and I will disclose if I do (similar to how I disclosed that Nikon was a client while also being an owner of a Nikon camera).

In addition, I always wanted to touch on my role with Roche Diabetes. I participate on the Roche Diabetes Volunteer Advisory Board. I am not paid. During the Roche Diabetes Summit, Roche pays for my flight, my hotel and my transportation to the event, and they pay for any incididental meals that may occur during my travel. They provide meals while we were are in session. They do not review any blog posts nor require any blog posts promoting or endorsing their products (I do not, in fact, use any Roche products at this time).

I appreciate the opportunity to work with pharmaceutical companies in a completely transparent and ethical manner. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to use products and to educate my readers on what those products are like in use. I am also grateful that pharmaceutical companies are working with many patient advocates and influencers in our community in an effort to better understand our wants and desires.

8 Comments
  1. June 28, 2010 2:38 PM

    Well said, Allison. Nice job. Awesome news on the Minimed aspect, and I feel much the same way – been on MM mostly since I started, though deviated (sadly) to the Cozmo and wasn’t happy. But came back a year ago, and am happy again. Not using a CGM, and MM is actually my least favorite of them all. Hope it continues going well, and the consumer focus group sounds like a pretty handy item – wonder if it’s anything like what Medtronic just did overseas in gathering some DOC and D-Community members to tour and visit the plant there? Anyhow, thanks for sharing – er, “disclosing.”

    • June 28, 2010 2:57 PM

      Minimed regularly does focus groups. I have participated before (though I’m not at liberty to disclose what it discussed), and I know other pump companies do them as well. The trip to headquarters will be a little bit different, and I’m not sure how much I will be able to share when the time comes, but hopefully I will at least be able to give people some idea of what goes into this kind of agreement.

  2. June 28, 2010 2:59 PM

    Extra bonus points for me becoming your neighbor: I don’t even like sweets. Hot dogs all the way, yo.

  3. June 28, 2010 3:22 PM

    This is fantastic! I am very excited for you! I hope the revel works better than your previous CGMS endevors, but if you ever want to talk Dexcom let me know. They SHOULD pay me for how much I talk about them. HAHA

  4. June 28, 2010 9:11 PM

    Awesome! You’ll have to let me know how it is, because I’m due for a pump upgrade in February I believe.🙂

  5. Colleen permalink
    June 29, 2010 10:58 AM

    Awesome–congrats!! Disclosure is always appreciated🙂

  6. June 30, 2010 8:39 AM

    I have just ordered mine. We call it the Veo, and I believe the only difference with the one available in the States is a feature not being available on the one over there. And, I ordered purple – not sure if that was a good idea or not, but on the phone it sounded like a brilliant idea! Looking forward to reading how you find it!

    And sadly – I CANNOT wait for mine to arrive. Makes me feel quite dorky in a way…

  7. Dwight J. Emery permalink
    July 4, 2010 3:48 PM

    Hi,

    I use a Revel pump now with all the new gadgets, just got it. Was using an older Minimed pump, and will go to classes for the new Revel soon. Nice to know some one else who uses it, and I’d like to know more about what you think about using the Revel pump.

    Like you, I’m not super excited because I’ve been using a pump for five years already, wish I had started a lot sooner. But I’m sure the Revel will be an improvement, but look forward to a complete closed system artificial pancreas device in the future that is more user friendly than ever, and safe to use.

    Thank you for writing the above and hope to learn more about your opinions on this device and other things that will improve diabetes management. I hate diabetes, never was a “good patient” but being type one forces a person to do a lot of things they don’t like to do to live better in the long run.

    Later…

    DJ Emery
    Spring Lake, NC

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