After Dexcom grew income by 31% in 2020 regardless of the worldwide financial impression from the coronavirus pandemic, the continual glucose monitor maker has carried that success into 2021.
CEO Kevin Sayer contends there’s nonetheless room for development as the corporate preps to launch its G7 CGM system later this 12 months and expands into bigger, untapped populations, like sufferers with Sort 2 diabetes.
The pandemic in some methods spurred success for diabetes tech corporations as sufferers at house embraced providers like telehealth and diabetes wearables, accelerating client traits seen lately.
Whereas there are nonetheless questions as to what number of sufferers will maintain utilizing these providers going ahead, Sayer argues client conduct could also be completely modified.
“I do not assume it is going away anytime quickly,” Sayer mentioned. “If something, I believe it’s going to get higher on the diabetes aspect as we get extra info.”
In an interview through the American Diabetes Affiliation’s annual assembly, the CEO additionally mentioned the corporate’s use of direct-to-consumer promoting and what the way forward for the diabetes tech world seems to be like as CGMs and insulin pumps grow to be extra linked.
This interview has been edited for readability and brevity.
MEDTECH DIVE: To return to the G7 CGM knowledge released through the Superior Applied sciences and Remedies for Diabetes June convention, what do these outcomes imply for the corporate, contemplating that it is your subsequent large product?
KEVIN SAYER: We have been at this G7 platform for fairly a while, 2016 and 2017 is when it actually began. So, attending to the purpose the place that knowledge is now accessible and the product is working and we now have manufacturing strains up and operating, it is actually a giant milestone for us.
Are you able to give an replace on the place FDA overview and a launch stand now?
SAYER: I am sort of in the course of a quiet interval there. However there is definitely been nothing we have disclosed that signifies issues have modified. We’ll be speaking just a little extra in regards to the G7 research and the place we’re with every little thing on our subsequent earnings name. Life is nice, I will simply depart it at that.
One factor the diabetes tech world is taking a look at is additional increasing into the Sort 2 inhabitants. What does efficiently doing this imply for the way forward for the corporate?
SAYER: We proceed to be very bullish. The truth is, I get nothing however extra bullish on this topic as a result of each time we see scientific analysis offered on Sort 2 sufferers, they do higher carrying sensors than with out them.
One would ask the query, “Properly, if I am not making insulin choices with each meal, is that this obligatory for me?” Properly, it’s obligatory as a result of it offers you info to higher handle your life.
We predict there is a super market alternative right here. It is fixing a special downside than the issue we remedy with insulin supply proper now, and we’re nonetheless not fully penetrated in that market — lower than 50% of individuals within the U.S. taking intensive insulin are on a CGM. So, we have got loads of room for development in our core market, however we view this as a really expandable and an excellent market to be in.
Some query whether or not CGMs are acceptable for all sufferers with Sort 2 diabetes and wish extra research on this inhabitants.
SAYER: There’s lots of proof that is been produced, but it surely’s not like there is a stake within the floor scientific paper that we will take to everyone and say, “That is the reply.”
Lots of the pushback relies on price. These sufferers are very costly inside their very own particular person well being techniques, so far as the price of treating the comorbidities that associate with late-stage Sort 2 diabetes particularly. So, including a sensor price to that may be questioned. Individuals wish to see extra proof. I believe we’d like extra scientific research. It might be good if we had reimbursement. However I believe simply getting the phrase out and getting extra utilization goes to be crucial too.
This can be a a lot bigger client group than the insulin customers that we speak to at this time. I imagine over time, as we evolve the product, you will see us go extra on to that group as effectively.
Medicare just lately eased protection necessities for therapeutic CGMs, eradicating the four-times-per-day blood glucose testing requirement. How is that going to impression Dexcom?
SAYER: It is an enormous situation. Any time we will cut back the documentation load required from healthcare suppliers and the documentation load required from sufferers to get higher entry to know-how, it is a actually good factor. I additionally assume when Medicare decides like this, it could stream all the way down to different teams like Medicaid.
How vital of the inhabitants was the requirement protecting out? May the elimination have a ripple impact for the corporate sufficient to alter outlooks?
SAYER: I do not know that it’s going to change any steering, our development estimates are very aggressive. We do not lack for pushing the needle. I believe we’ll get entry to extra individuals, however I do not know that it strikes our steering in any respect. It is a part of the plan.
One factor you talked about over the past earnings name was reducing common sale costs in worldwide markets. How has that course of gone because you made the modifications?
SAYER: I actually cannot speak a lot in regards to the monetary outcomes … Anecdotally, the reimbursement authorities have responded very effectively to us. For many who have not responded but, they’re actually all learning it, and we owe them extra info.
Dexcom has made direct-to-consumer promoting a key a part of its advertising and marketing technique. Why has the corporate prioritized this method?
SAYER: What we realized a number of years in the past, as we began making this flip, is we would have liked to focus much more on the person person of the system quite than simply their healthcare supplier. We began down the DTC path a few years in the past once we reorganized our advertising and marketing division. In all honesty, we introduced in some individuals from exterior of medical units who would have a look at this the best way extra of a client firm would have a look at it.
I believe it is an evolution that is ongoing in our firm, not simply from how we purchase new customers of the system as a result of we nonetheless get new customers with our personal on-line messaging via healthcare suppliers’ places of work. That is not going to alter. However we needed to get entry to extra individuals.
There are lots of people with diabetes who do not see an endocrinologist, and we do not name on these medical doctors straight ourselves. How are they going to search out out about our system if we do not educate them? The aim of the DTC advertisements is basically to create consciousness. And there is a cycle: when extra consciousness is created, then extra entry is granted.
After Dexcom’s Tremendous Bowl industrial aired in February, some criticism on Twitter and on-line introduced up entry and value points for sufferers who may gain advantage from CGM use. Are you able to deal with the issues about entry points for sufferers?
SAYER: I perceive the place the sufferers are coming from as a result of it’s troublesome, in some instances, for them to get the product, and it is significantly troublesome when someone does not have insurance coverage … In essence, by spending cash like that and driving consciousness, what we’re doing is making it extra doable for individuals to get entry to the know-how than it was earlier than.
We have moved as a lot of our enterprise to the pharmacy as we probably can … We have diminished the costs that we web from these sufferers to get them higher entry to the know-how in that setting. We’re doing what we will. The flip aspect is we now have an organization to run. We’re a public firm and we now have to continue to grow. So, you will see this balanced over time. And it is okay. Individuals can react, and I obtained lots of private notes too. However I’ll inform you the positives of the Tremendous Bowl advert outweighed the negatives by a protracted, lengthy, lengthy, good distance.
The following large transfer is linked techniques between CGMs and insulin pumps. As these two sub-markets grow to be extra depending on one another, the place do you see the diabetes tech world within the subsequent couple of years? And because the units grow to be extra built-in, do you see the businesses changing into extra built-in as effectively?
SAYER: We began the entire interoperability factor a few years in the past. Our two main companions at this time are Insulet and Tandem Diabetes Care … and we work with some others as effectively. It’s a main engineering effort to assist all this interoperability as a result of everyone builds their very own system the best way they assume is perfect.
We have designed all our future product choices to be linked.
The query turns into, does all this merge collectively? Properly, on the one hand, you possibly can have a look at it and say sure. Then again, you have a look at it and say, if we’re partnered with 4 pump corporations and pump corporations are partnering with two CGM corporations — I believe it is all good to present individuals alternative — the flip aspect of that’s it’s extremely troublesome to do engineering to present everyone all of the choices that they need.
Do you see Dexcom both making or proudly owning a pump of its personal sooner or later?
SAYER: Not at this time. We consider all enterprise alternatives, however at this time we’re proud of the enterprise that we now have, the expansion that we now have and the untapped markets that we proceed to serve. We love our companions. They do an excellent job of that, and we’ll allow them to maintain doing it.