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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

The Diabetes-Industrial Complex   (February 27, 2014)

I recently received the following e-mail:

DIC … the D is for diabetes and the industrial complex.

The Diabetes-Industrial Complex

As with the companies that profit from the "military industrial complex," companies like Novo Nordisk, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson are only the biggest and most visible parts of the vast "diabetes industrials complex." The Diabetes Industrial Complex, again like its military model, is made up of a lot more than visible corporations...

My comment:

I see lots of paranoid thinking on the Internet, and occasionally in e-mails, but this one struck a chord as I've worked with several of these companies' competitors in the past (Parke-Davis, Aventis, Sanofi-Aventis and Pfizer among the big boys, and many smaller companies where I was involved with their research activities or pharmacovigilance).

Is there a "DIC" as the author claims? Nope. These companies fight tooth-and-nail to be the first, and best, in the development and marketing of new drugs and new products, in their never-ending quest to make a buck. Sure, there are partnerships between two companies: for example, Amylin and Lilly had a diabetes-drug pact and Dexcom (a CGM manufacturer) is working with Tandem (a pump manufacturer) to develop an integrated CGM-insulin pump gadget.

And sure, the companies coordinate with the American Diabetes Association by funding ADA activities, as "Banting Circle Supporters."

But the diabetes pharmaceutical companies and the device manufacturers are no different in these behaviors from university professors who work together in the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) or the big three auto makers in Detroit.

No one worries about a "University Professor Complex" nor a "Automobile-Industrial Complex." And I'm not going to worry about a "Diabetes-Industrial Complex."

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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

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