As I inch closer towards my thesis submission deadline, 24 hours in a day never seems like enough time. Sadly, my blog has taken a back seat because of this. I was going through my blog drafts and this was something I had written a few months ago. It never got published because I still don’t have a firm stand on it. I was reminded of it the other day when I was chatting with a friend about this exact scenario. We couldn’t really figure out the black and white of it, so I thought I would throw this out there and see what other’s think about it.
Lately there’s been a lot of talk about working in the pockets of big pharma within the diabetes community.
Call me naive but I believe most business start with the intent of helping others. And sure they are looking to make money because we all need to earn a living. However I believe that a good company will always value the notion of helping their clients alongside their profit margins. A good company will keep investing in their clients. And it goes almost like a happy circle. In an ideal world that is.
Sadly over time some companies lose sight of their customers and become profit driven. Reputation of companies are abused and consumers blindly buy into their products, which results in them becoming a big player in the market.
How often do we see conflicting messages from companies? One moment we’re made to feel that they listen and care about their consumers. Next minute they take action on something that can only be seen as money-making.
I guess that’s why I feel sceptical and reserved when companies reach out to consumers for something. How much of it is genuine and how much of it is tokenistic? I hope they remember that it takes a long time to build trust, reputation and credibility with their clients. It doesn’t take much to break that trust.
Perhaps this is another reason we like to keep our eye out for start ups who are trying to disrupt the big game players. We’re tired of being played and being lied to. We want to invest, not just financially, in a diabetes company that truly works for the community. You can’t develop products and services for a group of people if you don’t know their needs!
Personally for me, I think transparency, honesty and trust is the key. I believe that collaboration between consumers and diabetes companies is critical. And I am more than happy to be involved with various companies if it truly helps other people with diabetes. In return, I feel that it’s my duty (and right) to disclose any funding and report back to the diabetes community with my take on the event.