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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More Astroturfing?

Remember what Jim Thomson wrote recently “… ask yourself one question…What does this person, or this organisation, have to gain from taking this position? All may become marginally clearer. Jim.”

I’d like you to hold that thought while we look at some facts about the The Diabetes Monitoring Forum (DMF), an organisation set up (and run?) by Innervate – “Making Connections in Healthcare”

You remember Innervate, I’m sure, Jim Thomson used to be Business Development Director with them, although he plays down his time there, telling us “Nor do I work for Innervate. I did for a short time, while I was trying to establish the Centre for Mental Health.” More on this particular issue another time, but for the moment I’m glad Jim’s cleared things up for us.

Back to the DMF – on its website, we are told:
“The Diabetes Monitoring Forum (DMF) is a group of diabetes healthcare professionals who came together with the aim of helping people with diabetes better understand the role of blood glucose and ketone monitoring in diabetes management.”

However, on the Innervate website we are told:
“The Diabetes Monitoring Forum, is a multidisciplinary group of healthcare professionals. The group was brought together by Innervate to develop practical education material that offers simple advice on appropriate blood glucose monitoring and blood ketone monitoring for people with diabetes. The DMF, with the help of Innervate, has more recently run a number of PCT workshops providing further support on blood glucose monitoring to primary care professionals.”

Spot the subtle but important difference?

Now, The sponsor of the DMF is Abbott Laboratories.

Abbott Diabetes Care was established in April 2004 after the acquisition of TheraSense™ Inc adding to the Abbott Laboratories company portfolio, which already included MediSense®. Abbott Laboratories is one of the largest and most innovative diagnostic companies in the world, with a presence in more than 130 countries.

Abbott Diabetes Care develops, manufactures and markets blood glucose monitoring systems that enable people with diabetes to manage their condition more effectively. Abbott Diabetes Care believes that the convenience and simplicity of its products promotes increased compliance by individuals with diabetes and provides more effective management of their condition. The convenience and simplicity of the blood glucose meters is illustrated in the product information sections of abbottdiabetescare.co.uk.

I wonder if Abbott is a client of Innervate’s?

I think the only way to finish off this post is with those wise 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.”

It’s all going wrong for Jean-Pierre Garnier at Glaxo

As Chief Executives go, JP Garnier has always been VERY well paid. But in order to justify his huge salary JP needs to deliver – and he’s not – in fact, he is fast becoming an embarrassment to the company. When Garnier said “I’ll be a hero in three years.” (5 May 2004), I’m not quite sure this is what he had in mind!

At Glaxo’s AGM last week shareholders voiced their anger over the poor performance of GSK’s share price, which has dropped by almost 15% over the past year.

GSK investor John Farmer blasted the group for its “colossal under-performance” and demanded the resignation of chairman Sir Christopher Gent and a more speedy exit for CEO Jean-Pierre Garnier. Garnier is not due to step down until May 2008.

The current controversy over Avandia, the latest in a long line of scandals associated with Glaxo and its drugs, has seen more than £9 billion wiped off the share price.

New data that shows Avandia dramatically increases the risk of heart attacks, has seen frightened patients abandoning a long-term trial of the drug that is aimed at proving its safety. Glaxo has become so alarmed at the threat to the 4,400-patient safety study that it is examining ways to persuade volunteers to stick with the drug.

Perhaps Glaxo could get Sir Christopher to write to all the patients and tell them what he told the AGM “We remain confident that the significant benefits of the medicine continue to outweigh any treatment risks.”

Yep, that should do it…

Or maybe a word from JP himself would help all Glaxo’s frightened patients: “If anyone thought drugs were without side-effects, hopefully that’s over. All drugs have side-effects. We are having to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on lawyers.” Jean-Pierre Garnier 23 April 2005

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