Disclosure: I Haz One
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.