The Business of Diabetes

The Business of Diabetes: Death of Sanofi Aventis’ “GoInsulin” YouTube Channel – Good Bye, or Good Riddance?

I sincerely doubt that many of my blog readers even noticed that pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Aventis (best known to the patients with diabetes as the seller of the Lantus and Apidra insulin analogues) even noticed that the company’s “GoInsulin” YouTube channel was rather abruptly terminated by the company recently without much advance notice. But another blogger, Andrew Spong, noticed and he addresses the rather sudden termination of the “GoInsulin” YouTube channel, which according to him, was reportedly one of pharma’s biggest (bigger than J&J’s YouTube channel, which now rates as #1 since “GoInsulin” was terminated, see here for more detail). Sanofi Aventis has replaced the former campaign with “WhyInsulin” (like type 1s even have a choice) instead.

One reason so few of my readers may have noticed it is because much of my readership has some connection to type 1 diabetes, while the “GoInsulin” campaign completely disregarded people with type 1 as irrelevant, without so much as an acknowledgement of the fact that Lantus is even approved for patients with type 1. I try my best to be as objective as I can and to present facts clearly, but when it comes to insulin, one thing is clear: the type 1 audience is anything but irrelevant (Exubera, anyone?). And for a company that earlier this year (in February 2010) that identified diabetes as a “top priority” in pharmaceuticals and even established a global division to help the company achieve its aim of becoming the top firm in diabetes treatments (see here for the text of that story) to help unseat Novo Nordisk, and the narrowly-focused “GoInsulin” strategy was downright moronic from a business perspective. As I’ve noted before, at one point, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimated that 75% of all insulin users have type 1 diabetes. Many doctors believe this is because fewer type 2 patients use insulin than should be, but regardless of the reason, any ad campaign that completely dismisses type 1s as irrelevant is doomed to fail.

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