In (very) good company
Who are the enemies of the D-tribe? Ignorance and Insurance, I’d say. Many others would say big Pharma is also our enemy. I wouldn’t go that far. They keep us alive and more-or-less healthy. But they aren’t exactly our friends either, are they?
One big complaint is that they are clueless to the needs, desires, and overall culture of D-folk. Now it seems one company wants to change that. Maybe. Or maybe something more sinister is afoot. In a minute you’ll see just how paranoid we D-folk are of people who are not quite our friends and not quite our enemies.
So I first got wind of this a couple of weeks ago when I was doing my morning routine of drinking Starbucks and visiting Amy’s blog, which I regard as the New York Times of Diabetes. I start each work day this way. No point in going to work if they cured diabetes, now is there? On this particular morning, Amy was talking about a Summit hosted by the folks at Roche Diabetes Care.
A summit between us and them. Hmmmmmmmmmm…..
It is officially called the Roche Diabetes Care Social Media Summit. Amy says they want to meet with the 25 “most vocal diabetes advocates on the web.” Roche themselves are calling it a gathering of “a small group of thought leaders in the e-diabetes community.”
Of all the players in Diabetes who really ought to listen to their customers, Roche came as a surprise to me. They make the terrible Accu-Chek meters and the terrible Spirit insulin pump. They’ve got a Byetta type drug before FDA…but…well, they always struck me as a “me-too” player in the D-gear and D-med biz. At least nowadays.
Do they have something new up their sleeves?
Do they really want to understand us, or are they trying to figure out a way to use the D-blogosphere as a marketing tool? Good luck with that. The wild-west has nothing on us.
Amy tells us the plan is to create a “manifesto” outlining how we can all work together for common good of patients; and to create a list of “Do’s and Dont’s” in the complicated soup of Pharma / Blogger relationships. Hmmmmm…. Sounds a bit more like a treaty rather than a manifesto; but isn’t that what Summits are for? Someone had better bring a peace pipe.
Anyway, diabetes having not been cured, I had to go to work and treat it. Next best thing.
Two hours later, at the clinic, I check my email and find an email from Roche. What a coincidence, I was just reading about you folks. When I opened it, I got the shock of my life. It was a save the date email. I was being invited to the Summit. I was one of the thought leaders. One of the most vocal of my tribe. Well, I know I have a big mouth, but….
It got even better. When I looked over the “CC” list on my email, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It is a virtual who’s-who list of everyone I know and love and admire on the D-blogosphere. And me too! Yikes!
I couldn’t wait to tell my wife when I got home, so I didn’t. I called her with the news. When I walked in the door that evening I said to her, So how’s it feel to be married to one of the 25 most important diabetics on the internet? To which she gave a non-committal shrug, popping my ego-filled balloon.
On the bright side, my Mother was appropriately proud, excited, and full of advice that I need to ramp up my writing again……