FDA News and Being Thankful

First and foremost: FDA approvals are coming out fast and furious lately.

Last month the Dexcom G5 approval was announced and it is expected to begin shipping to customers this month.

Today it was announced that the t:slim G4 pump has also gained FDA approval.

Here are my thoughts: I am very excited about the Dexcom G5. I like the looks of the new receiver (in case you have not seen images, the graph will now be on a white background and color distinctions for in range, below range, and over range will be easier to see). I use an Android phone and there is currently no Android app, but I’m ok with waiting a few months for that to be available.

I am excited about the t:slim G4….for those who don’t want the G5 system. I suppose I’d be more excited by it if the Dexcom G5 had not just gained approval. I do look forward to the next step – the t:slim G5 pump. I am hopeful that it will gain approval by the time my current warranty is up and I can get one next year about this time.

And therein lies the crux of this post….I wish more people would be thankful for what they have, instead of complaining. Tandem has announced only allowing anyone who purchased a pump since 8/1/15 to trade it in for a free upgrade to the G4 pump. Everyone else will need to purchase the G4 pump outright. Many customers are angry because they feel misled – they were told there would be an upgrade option for them. I understand the frustration – I really do. And Tandem has not done a good job of backing up what their employees have said or making any apologies. HOWEVER……. many people who were never given any information about upgrades either way somehow feel they are entitled to a free or greatly reduced price upgrade option. (This is not feasible for such a new company, if they want to remain financially stable…..pumps cost a few thousand to MAKE – even if they charged $200 to upgrade, that’s a HUGE loss for every pump they allow to be ‘upgraded’ and the financial gains from pumps sold at normal pricing won’t outpace those losses in such a way that a newish company like Tandem can come out unscathed….)

I would like to see more people just being grateful they HAVE a pump, of any kind, or a CGM of any kind. New technology is exciting, of course. Many new technologies offer new conveniences and features that make our lives with diabetes easier to manage. But…even without the ‘newest’ technology, shouldn’t those of us who have pumps and CGMs just be thankful we have those devices, and leave it at that? There are people around the world who can’t even get their hands on insulin. There are people who have to walk 50 miles one way every month to pick up their insulin and syringes. There are people who don’t have access to glucometers or test strips because they live in areas too poor to provide access to comprehensive health care or medical supplies of any kind. And we sit here and complain because we can’t get a slightly updated piece of technology for a discount? Let me tell you what that is: a first-world problem.

Perspective…that’s what we all need.

I for one am thankful I have my pump. I am thankful I have my Dexcom. I will likely be upgrading my Dexcom to the G5 but that’s not simply because I ‘want one’….my current Dexcom G4 system went out of warranty 4 months ago. It’s a ticking time bomb, and at any time the receiver could stop working. The transmitter should be ok a few more months, but if something DOES happen…it won’t be covered, because I purchased the transmitter months before I began using it, and it’s also out of warranty. If for some weird reason my insurance company said ‘you can have a new system, but you need to stick with the G4’…I’d just be thankful I get a new system at all, because so many in the world don’t have access to this technology (in fact, so many in just this country don’t have access to this technology…).

Perspective. Being thankful. …….Think about it.


4 thoughts on “FDA News and Being Thankful

  1. I agree so much with this. I used to be one to complain about not getting the latest and greatest, and be green with envy if I didn’t. But lately things have changed and so has my perspective. I’m thankful for the tools I have to manage my diabetes, even if they aren’t the best or the latest on the market. I’m grateful for friends who have the ability to loan d-tech to me when mine fails until I can get my own. I’m grateful to have a CGM at all. Sometimes it takes losing what you had and trusted and having to look at the alternative to make you appreciate what you still have.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m very interested in the new things coming down the pipeline, but I’m more exited for others than for myself. I’m finally becoming content. I have other things to worry about now, and as long as what I have works, I’m good. 🙂

    • I’m falling into your way of thought more and more as well, Sarah. I used to want the newest and flashiest meters. Now…I just want something consistent but inexpensive. I use a lot of generics because I can get strips cheaper than my copay on insurance would be for the ‘preferred’ name brand…. Same with pump and CGM. So long as it works for me, I’m good.

  2. Doug says:

    Totally agree with you. People need to understand that the new tech does not change the benefits of the system you’re already using. I do not see people who bought a new iPhone 6 last month thinking they are deserving of a new 6s this week.
    Heck, my transmitter for my Dexcom needed to be replaced the week before the G5 announcement. I will be paying $170 for the new transmitter (after insurance) then found out a week later that I would be eligible to order the G5 system for $199. Oh well… I’ll pick it up next year. And hopefully they’ll have the Android app available by then for us.

    • You make a fantastic point about phone upgrades. Upgrades are sometimes offered…but with a caveat – you have to extend your contract, there is a fee, you have to wait a certain amount of time, etc. It’s never just a ‘well you bought this so you get the new version when it comes out!’ kind of deal. Why assume that medical devices (which cost far more to manufacture) are different? The reality is that if you were satisfied with your pump or CGM yesterday, won’t you still be satisfied tomorrow – even if you didn’t get an upgrade? Thanks for pointing out those points!

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