My hat’s off to the diabetes sales reps I meet


This post comes late in the day on what is today World Diabetes Day, the one day during the year the whole world tries to raise awareness about diabetes. I have just returned from giving an educational diabetes presentation in Burlington VT. 

I often think I gain more than I give–I receive the heartfelt appreciation of patients whom I speak to and equal appreciation from the true soldiers in the field, the diabetes educators and  nurse practitioners. Perhaps it will surprise you to know I also receive great appreciation from the pharmaceutical sales reps of Sanofi-Aventis, the sponsor of the A1C Champions program I deliver and the manufacturer of Lantus and Apidra insulins. 

It is one of the reps job’s to sell the program to their accounts, the doctors, nurses and educators they service, and it is a win/win. Patients learn how to better care for their diabetes, get inspired and motivated by hearing about it from a fellow patient who knows the experience of living with diabetes, and when they begin to take better care of themselves it can involve using insulin, which benefits Sanofi-Aventis.  But all the reps I have met are incredibly caring people who want to help patients.

So, it seems appropriate this day to share with you an email sent to the organization I do this program through from a Sanofi-Aventis rep about the program I delivered Tuesday in Jersey City, NJ. 

Dear Management Team,

…Today we had an A1C Champion presentation by Riva Greenberg a Type 1 diabetic patient. Riva talked to more than 30 patients and shared with them how easy it is for her to manage her diabetes despite the fact that she takes multiple shots a day, more than 7 (including testing) and yet she has a very fulfilling live. 

We witnessed the increased interest in patients from the last time we supported a similar event by the overwhelming number of patients at today’s presentation, as well as the amount of patients who had one-on-one questions for Riva after her presentation. 

It was very inspiring to me to hear some of the comments she made to encourage patients to take better control of their illness. She also shared with me that ATTITUDE is so important when a patient is diagnosed with diabetes. She added that it becomes a whole different issue when a patient realizes that it is only in “their hands” whether they’ll be present in their children’s future or avoid complications. She said that the change in attitude can come from a simple way of seeing things, switching from a “have to do it” to a “choose to do it” mind frame about their diabetes tasks.  Thanks Riva for all the changes you inspired TODAY!!

Best regards,

Priscila Alvarez, Sanofi-aventis

So today I speak for those much maligned pharma reps whom most people think are only in it for the money. Most I have met are in it because someone close to them had diabetes. Today on World Diabetes Day, I applaud them.

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