The good works of the Diabetes Monitoring Forum

I’ve just found this news item on the internet about the Diabetes Monitoring Forum and one of its early successes. It seems that the DMF developed important new patient guidelines in the form of an advice card.

New Patient Guidelines Developed to Help Prevent Deaths From Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a complication of diabetes resulting from insufficient insulin, can lead to coma and eventually death if it is not controlled. Minimising the likelihood of developing DKA is the first priority for the newly set up Diabetes Monitoring Forum, which has created new blood ketone monitoring advice for patients.

Today at the annual Professional Conference of Diabetes UK in Glasgow the Forum presented the evidence-base supporting the development of this new advice card.

The catalyst for the card’s creation stems from a recent advance in monitoring technology, which enables patients to measure both blood glucose and blood ketones using the same device.

The new advice card was necessitated (is this really a word?) by a recent advance, whereby people with diabetes can now monitor blood ketones, with a meter that measures both blood glucose and blood ketones, the Optium Meter from MediSense, a division of Abbott Laboratories.

The new advice card, which will be made available through the healthcare team and launched later this year, provides a simple set of instructions for people with diabetes. It helps them to adjust their treatment according to the level of blood ketones detected by their monitor. Previously, the only way for people to keep a check on diabetic ketoacidosis was by measuring urinary ketones.

Read on here for more information about the new patient guidelines developed by the DMF, which I think I should point out is not an advert for the new Optium Meter from MediSense, a division of Abbott Laboratories. No really, it isn’t…

As for the DMF “…part of the overall mission of the Diabetes Monitoring Forum, which is to optimise the role of blood glucose and blood ketone monitoring in the management of diabetes. The Forum aims to achieve this by creating and evaluating advice and practical materials for both people with diabetes and healthcare professionals.”

To find out more you were asked to contact Dr Neil Bindemann at PRiMED Communications (PRiMED changed its name to Innervate on 16 March 2004).

All in all, I think it’s apposite to finish once again with the immortal words of Jim Thomson “… ask yourself one question…What does this person, or this organisation, have to gain from taking this position? All may become marginally clearer. Jim.”

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3 Responses to “The good works of the Diabetes Monitoring Forum”

  1. truthman30 Says:

    It seems to me that all of these types of companies/charites , (Depression Alliance etc) exist purely to serve a “cause related marketing” agenda …

    This could also possibly explain the Cymbalta /Eli Lilly connection with Depression Alliance and also the Lundbeck Sponsorship too…

    Personally I think Cause related marketing in the realm of “mental illness” and “drug company sponsorship” is a very dodgy area , and I can’t see any direct benefit for the patient …

    It is however ,clear to me ,that the charity and the corporate sponsor do get immediate benefit in the form of funding for the charity from the sponsor and brand /corporate association for the “cause” of the charity for the pharmaceutical company…

    How does this association between Corporate sponsors and charities benefit the patient ( and the public)? , I have no idea.. (maybe someone could enlighten me?)

    Maybe I am jumping to the wrong conclusion, but I think what it boils down to is “advertising in the guise of goodwill”

    http://www.prwatch.org/node/4965

    “Cause-Related Marketing”: Why Social Change and Corporate Profits Don’t Mix

    In the 1980s, a new form of marketing was born: Cause-Related Marketing (CRM), a hybrid of product advertising and corporate public relations. CRM aims to link corporate identities with nonprofit organizations and good causes. As a tax-deductible expense for business, this form of brand leveraging seeks to connect with the consuming public beyond the traditional point of purchase and to form long-lasting and emotional ties with consumers. However, what might seem like a fair exchange between corporations in search of goodwill and non-profits in search of funds also raises a range of troubling social, political and ethical questions.

  2. truthman30 Says:

    http://www.calipso.co.uk/downloads/Articles/Final_depression_supplement.pdf

    Just to give an example of “Cause Related Marketing” and how it works, here is a link to a magazine marketed for GP’s and the treatment of depression in primary care, you will notice the Huge Lundbeck logo and “Brand” on the front cover…

    And of course at the bottom of the last page…

    “Supported with an unrestricted educational grant from Lundbeck Ltd”

    (Lundbeck distribute SSRI’s such as Lexapro)

    In between the Lundbeck advertising and cause related marketing stated at the bottom are various articles …

    The first one from Amelia Mustapha (formerly of Depression Alliance and currently Communications Director for the
    Centre for Mental Health and
    Vice President of the European
    Depression Association)

    The articles are all well and good, but nothing we haven’t heard or read before about depression, and i’m sure it’s nothing that GPs wouldn’t know already…

    So, what would be the point of this magazine, and how would it benefit the patient?

    Quite simply, it wouldn’t …

    It may not be “direct to consumer advertising”, but it might certainly end up as “indirect” to consumer advertising …

    Also you wil notice in between the Articles there are references to SSRI’s …( Remember the sponsors Lundbeck are in the business of pushing SSRI’s)

    •Prescription of an SSRI
    When an antidepressant is to be prescribed
    in routine care, it should be a selective
    serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), because
    SSRIs are as effective as tricyclic
    antidepressants and are less likely to be
    discontinued because of side-effects.
    CBT should be considered for patients with
    recurrent depression who have relapsed
    despite antidepressant treatment, or who
    express a preference for psychological
    interventions.

    •Maintenance treatment with
    antidepressants
    Patients who have had two or more
    depressive episodes in the recent past, and
    who have experienced significant functional
    impairment during the episodes, should be
    advised to continue antidepressants for 2
    years.

    •Combined treatment for treatment-
    resistant depression
    For patients whose depression is treatment
    resistant, the combination of antidepressant
    medication with CBT should be considered.

    No mention of side effects such as Akathisia , Serotonin Syndrome, Depersonalisation , Derealisation , or possible increased aggression and suicide risks….

    I fail to see what real use the articles in this magazine are to the patient or GP’s …

    But it would clearly benefit the Drug Company ( Lundbeck in this case) because the aim of the sponsorship would be to advertise the Lundbeck Logo/Brand, to promote SSRI’s, and to get the magazine into GP’s offices , surgeries and waiting rooms…

    I am sure that the authors of the articles had good intentions when they wrote their pieces in regard to CBT/SSRI’s, Good Doctor patient relationships, Symptoms of depression etc… ( at least I would hope they had) but at the end of the day, it seems to me to be more Marketing over content. And I would have to question what benefits it would have for the depressed patient or indeed the GP who might read it…

    Ultimately though, Lundbeck would get the most benefit (they wouldn’t invest in it if it were otherwise) and of course because Lundbeck are in the business of Selling SSRI’s it would be in their interest to associate with people from certain advocacy groups and those whom are listened to when they voice an opinion on “Depression”…

    Cause related marketing in regard to Charities, Mental health organistaions , Advocacy groups and Pharma sponsorship is really no different than the high prescribing GP who is wined and dined by the drug rep, or the Psychiatrist who takes pharmaceutucal funding for research …

    It may seem well intentioned, and i’m sure in most cases it probably is, but the end result is the same …

    The Pharma company gets good PR …
    The Patient group thinks its doing a good deed…
    But somewhere amongst all of this, the needs of the patient, (which is to have access to unbiased research, without a pharmaceutical business agenda ) gets lost ….

    And I think that is a “cause” in itself worth highlighting…

  3. BOB FIDDAMAN Says:

    What a profound piece of writing. Kudos to the Truthman

    Fid


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