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Re: [IP] Preferred provider's high supply prices

May I add another perspective?  I'm the manager of a provider, and we hold
preferred provider contracts with many insurances in New England.  One of my big
frustrations is that the pump manufacturers choose to compete directly against
their distributors.  Most manufacturers establish a distributor network and don't
sell directly to the public.  However, Minimed in particular, sells to the general
public for the same price that they sell to their distributors.  As a distributor,
I get zero discount, so wholesale equals retail.  Our company can't compete in
that way, and I question whether it borders on an anti-trust violation.  I'd love
to see another company come up with "generic" supplies that work with brand-name

I'm all for buying at the best price, and in the competitive world, may the best
provider win.  However, it would be nice to have a level playing field.  For a
company like ours who tries to offer a comprehensive, local diabetes education
program, this mail-order arrangement means a loophole in our program.  For our
customers who prefer to have a local face to deal with, they don't like calling
someone "way off" for their personal medical needs.

I recognize that there's a difference of perspective between a customer and a
retailer, and it's dangerous to generalize since every situation is different, but
please don't place ALL the blame on your local medical equipment provider.

Stepping down off my soapbox,

Phil DuBois
email @ redacted

Insulin Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/
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