One of the things I enjoyed most about the trip to Indianapolis was the opportunity to visit and see firsthand Roche’s main campus, including their Research and Development area and the test strip manufacturing plant. Seeing before my own eyes how much equipment and effort goes into making Accu-chek test strips was mind boggling. Just to give you an idea of the magnitude of their production – there are 100,000 vials of 50 test strips manufactured in just one lot. 200 vials per minute are packaged for different countries. Whoa. And that is just one test strip manufacturer. Imagine putting them all together?! Our tour guide mentioned that the motto in the plant is that “every strip counts”. I like that. With how valuable and critical test strip results are, it was good to hear and I hope that all involved take it that seriously.
We also got to hear from some of Roche’s executives on the current and future state of their diabetes technology. Believe it or not (and I’ll take their word for it) there are 180 companies involved with diabetes technology in one way or another. 180! They want to make products more useful with integration which was reassuring since isn’t that what we all want? But it is a work in progress. And with the FDA seemingly so slow with approving diabetes devices, we have to do our part as patients to assist all pharma companies in dealing with the FDA by voicing our opinions and providing feedback whenever possible. Their new Combo insulin pump system was discussed and October of this year looks to be when it will be available here in the US. They shared some upcoming products with us so it looks like they will be busy for some time.
Now to the fun part. I was given an Accu-chek Nano meter from Roche. Since I already have one (why yes I do tend to get myself the latest and greatest diabetes equipment!) I would love to give this new one to one of my readers. To be fair, all attendees from the Social Media Summit will not be eligible. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and I will use one of those handy-dandy random number generators to pick the winner and will announce it here on Friday. The deadline to participate is Thursday, August 9th at noon EST. It comes with 10 Smartview test strips and the new FastClix lancet device if you haven’t tried that yet. It is a nice little meter and I really like it but if I’m going to be honest, two things hold me back from using it as my primary meter – lack of a port light where you insert the strips and the batteries it uses (CR2032). Good luck!!