Ok, so one of the bloggers I read was asked to review a video for a new business venture…something to do with a new basal insulin. This blogger was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a college student and is a huge advocate in the diabetes community. He is usually a lot more positive about things than I am.
This time he was not positive.
I get that there are differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. I run into this wall every time I turn around. It’s like there are two major clubs and all these small cliques of people (the LADAs, the MODYs, the gestationals, ) are trying to fit in with the cool kids (the type 1s), but being pushed toward the other, less exclusive club (the type 2s).
There is a lot of misinformation out there about diabetes. The media seems to think that only fat people get type 2 diabetes and the corporate idiots who advertise all these new drugs designed to treat diabetes seem to buy into that idea. Most of the commercials on television, for everything from Invokana to Levemir, are targeted to these obese type 2s. It’s nice to see more people who look like me on television, but it really irritates me that most of them are in commercials for type 2 diabetes. When did Levemir become something only type 2s use?
I understand that this blogger was trying to make the point that there is a lot of misinformation out there and that this company should have done more research. And they should have. What they are doing shows their heart is in the right place, but they need to go back to the development stage as far as gathering information from the diabetes community.
What annoys me is this bloggers take on the drug this company is trying to promote.
Did you know it took me 15 minutes of scrolling through your fine print to discover your product was for basal insulin, only? Your product does literally nothing for me. I understand that companies choose to save time and character counts by saying “diabetes” when they actually mean “type 2 diabetes”, but it would behoove you to do a little research on your target audience before blindly distributing materials outside of your target demographic.
Okay. So type 1s don’t use basal insulin? That’s funny, because this blogger talks often about how he uses Lantus as his basal insulin. I know that a lot of type 1s are on insulin pumps and that allows them to skip the use of insulins like Lantus and Levemir…the same insulins that type 2s often start first. But he’s writing a post about how this company is missing their target audience when in truth there are some type 1s out there who prefer not to use an insulin pump and do require some form of basal insulin.
And its a little inaccurate in my case, as I hate to continuously remind everyone. I am a type 2, but I have an insulin pump. So, targeting me in this type of campaign would also be inappropriate.
I guess what I am trying to point out here is that putting us all into separate categories is not always the best way to move forward. We are diabetics. A lot of us do need basal insulin. Not just type 1s, not just type 2s. A lot of diabetics need basal insulin.
This company was actually less biased than some in the diabetes community in sending their video to someone like this particular blogger. We’re they a little misinformed about other aspects of diabetes? Yes. Is their video missing the mark as far as what it is like to live as a diabetic? Most definitely. But were they wrong in targeting a type 1 with a project to promote a basal insulin? No.
I was also a little annoyed by this:
“Diabetes is now a global epidemic requiring several painful injections each day” – You do realize some people living with diabetes are able to stay healthy through diet, exercise, and pills? You do realize type 1 diabetes, the diabetes that absolutely requires insulin delivered by an injection or through an insulin pump represents a small percentage of the total diabetes population? According to the CDC, 5% of adults with diabetes are living with type 1 diabetes.
Okay, so the first part is true. Some type 2s, God bless them, can manage their condition with diet and exercise. And there is metformin and all those other pills that help manage the condition for some. As I’ve stated before, these methods worked for me for a long time before I got pregnant and my pancreas gave up on me. However, the rest of the statement once again assumes that only type 1s need insulin or insulin pumps.
Would I die without insulin? I honestly don’t know. I had a c-peptide test done when I got my pump, but I don’t know what the results were so I have no idea if my pancreas has any functioning beta cells or not. Maybe I wouldn’t die as quickly as someone with type 1 diabetes. But my blood sugar does go up dramatically when I have a brain fart and forget to change the cartridge in my pump when it runs out, so I would assume that if it didn’t kill me to stop insulin all together, it would lead to the same devastating complications that type 1s suffer. So isn’t insulin therapy just as important for me, a type 2, as it is for a type 1?
So I would say this statement is not entirely accurate. When taken with the idea that this blogger is trying to force this company to be more accountable to its target audience, he might strive to make his own statements a little more accurate.
All in all, however, I totally agree with everything else the blogger had to say to this misguided company.
Surprised? I was.