What would you like to ask Roche at the 2012 Diabetes Social Media Summit?

Every year, since 2009 Roche has been organizing a Diabetes Social Media Summit. I have blogged about a couple of times before:

A comment from my friend Mike Hoskins (who now serves as Managing Editor at DiabetesMine.com), made me think that this year's summit which is scheduled to take place at the end of July in Indianapolis, right before the AADE Conference in the same city, is a great opportunity to open up the summit to the entire community.

What would you like us to ask Roche at the 2012 Diabetes Social Media Summit? Please post your questions here and we will make sure to raise your concerns, issues, thoughts, and anything you would like to have brought up.

Hope this question is appropiate for the 2012 Summit ?? ..I would like to know the name of latest type of Roche insulin pump available in all Canadian Provinces and Territories ....( to include available support systems in Provinces and Territories)

I don't pay any attention to what Roche makes vs. what other companies make. Is there a "scorecard" online? I don't have a lot of questions for pharmaceutical companies as to me it seems like "problems" are at the locus of medicine and insurance companies, as pharmaceutical companies will provide us pretty much whatever docs prescribe within the limits imposed by insurers?

OTOH, I have until July to figure out what they make and am only a couple of hours from Indy so, depending on the dates and our Byzantine work schedule, perhaps I can get down there?

Hmmm, I don't seem to use any Roche products. I'd have to say I'd be disinclined to buy lopsided insulin pump? I'm square.

When is the Solo micropump launching?

My question:

According to experts, the Accu-Check Aviva is one of the most accurate meters available for ordinary home use. But it isn't as precise as a professional lab instrument -- and can't be, or else it would cost as much. But: within the limits imposed by economic reality, is there anything you can do to make it even better than it is?

A wi-fi meter makes total sense! My pump d/l stuff over wifi and it's one of my favorite things about it! It gives the doctor data with less work on my part. I loathe logging anything and really haven't ever logged, except for 30 days to get the pump in the first place. My first thought was "I'll just fake it" but after thinking about that, it would be more work than actually logging?

I would like to know how close the Animas Vibe is to being approved for sale in the US by the FDA?

A good question, Jim, but Animas is owned by Johnson & Johnson, not Roche.

I'm wondering when the Combo pump is going to be approved in the US. I really want to get it before I run out of COBRA. if they won't say anything, can you see if you can find out what's holding it up?

For those of us who use insulin, we make insulin decisions every day based on readings from blood glucose testers like the Roche Accu-Chek. The entire industry manufactures their testers to a standard published by the FDA.

That standard is woefully inadequate. It permits any fingerstick reading to be considered "accurate" so long as 95% of the results falls within +/- 20%, if the number is => 75 mg/dL, or +/- 15 mg/dL if the number is < 75 mg/dL.

To illustrate how loose this standard of accuracy is, if my fingerstick meter reads 70 mg/dL, then the actual BG could range from 55 mg/dL to 85 mg/dL. And that doesn't even consider the allowable 5% of measurements that can fall out of that range! I don't know about you but my actions relating to a 55 mg/dL are much different than an 85 mg/dL.

This standard does not serve me well. Relying on these numbers, I make critical dosing decisions for insulin, a hormone capable of incapacitating and even killing me.

My questions for Roche are these: Do you support the status quo of ISO 15197 (meter accuracy standard) or do you recognize that this standard blindly compromises the personal safety of insulin using diabetics? Do you see a need for much more accurate home blood glucose meter accuracy? Have you taken any concrete steps to develop a more accurate meter?

Hi Manny,

I use the Roche Accu-Chek Spirit Combo pump and remote.. It is new but already feels dated, I would like to know what new pumps they are working on etc and what they have in the pipeline for the next 3-4 years.. CGM functionality as with the Vibe etc?

I would also like to know if they would consider using smartphone to function as the bluetooth remote, as I am all for having to carry around less gadgets!

The news on July 18 was that the FDA has now approved the Combo system here, and Roche is looking at availability here in the U.S. sometime later in 2012.

I'd like to know why +/- 20%, or 15%, is still acceptable. I don't care what the FDA says is acceptable. I want to know why meters can't be more accurate and why test strips still are so hideously expensive.

Ditto on the expense. Given the astronomical number of strips they sell (and the quantity I go thru every week), I do NOT see why they have to cost upwards of $1 per test (which they do, whether you are paying for them or your insurance is).

Here are my suggestions:

Ask Roche to become of model of ethical behavior, particularly as it relates to societal and patient interests.

  1. Adopt a strict code of conduct for payments and gifts as part of marketing and publicly disclosed all gifts and payments made to health care professionals
  2. Adopt a strict corporate code of conduct that protects public health policy. Do not participate or attempt to influence boards and panels that seek to establish public standards of care and public health guidelines.

As to Roche's glucose meter business, I agree that we strongly urge Roche to take the lead in increasing the accuracy of their meters, but I'd also ask that they take more of a lead (with other companies) in developing open interoperability standards for the exchange of test data between other applications.

I'd also urge them to consider the focused development of products that would aide in the diagnosis of Monogenic Diabetes (or Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY)). Only 1-2% of diabetics are currently diagnosed with MODY at this time, but some speculate that as many as 10-15% of diabetics have the condition and are improperly diagnosed and treated. There is a great need for affordable and effective diagnosis of MODY and current technologies should enable this to be a reality.


I especially like the MODY suggestion. It just breaks my heart every time I read about improper diagnoses with some PWDs going years struggling with the wrong therapy (not to mention what that does to their life expectancy).


I would like to see Roche vastly improve their SW for managing boluses, corrections, IOB and how "events" get recorded. For example, every Sunday that I have a late breakfast, I can't record that as "Breakfast" on their SW. Similarly, because IOB is figured on a "flat line" basis, I have overcorrected or under-bolused. The end result, is I have given up on the SW and having a somewhat integrated solution where the meter and pump "talk".

Probably along the same lines, would be making the data open-standard.

What is their reaction to Walmart making test strips available for 18 cents a strip?

I found that the new Walmart meter is produced by Arkray USA and the going rate for Glucocard test strips is about $14/50 (28 cents). It was already pretty cheap before Walmart rebranded it.

I second, third, and fourth what Terry said. I feel this is one of the greatest needs (other than a cure) for diabetes care right now.