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Not Everyone Is Thrilled About Nick Jonas’s Diabetes Super Bowl Commercial

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For those of us who watch the Super Bowl just for the commercials, you may have noticed Nick Jonas’s, who has Type I diabetes, commercial for Dexcom’s product Dexcom G6. Dexcom is a company that creates glucose monitoring systems for diabetes management. People with diabetes check their glucose levels to see if their blood sugar is in their target range.

Not everyone in the diabetes community is thrilled with Jonas’s commercial for Dexcom G6. In an article for Esquire, editor Dave Holmes, who has Type I diabetes like Jonas, outlined why some members of the diabetes community are criticizing the ad. Holmes himself uses Dexcom G6, which he described as a “lifesaver.” Dexcom G6 reads glucose levels through an adhesive patch throughout the day, according to its website. Users get an alert when their blood sugar is out of a target range. A single G6 transmitter lasts for 90 days.

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Dexcom G6 may be too expensive for many members of the diabetes community. According to GoodRx, the lowest price for Dexcom G6 without insurance is $349.56. This is expensive enough on its own without acknowledging how much people with diabetes have to pay per month for insulin as Twitter user Christine Fallabel, MPH pointed out. At the same time, Fallabel also recognizes the importance of the fact that “millions of people will see a Super Bowl ad later today spotlighting the need for continuous glucose monitoring (cgm) access for people with diabetes.”

Holmes also wrote about the impact of having someone like Jonas speaking about his Type I diabetes and the Dexcom G6 product could have. “The Dexcom is a miraculous device. More people should know about it. A hot, healthy young star like Nick Jonas pulls Type 1 into the spotlight, diminishes stigma,and increases visibility,” Holmes writes. “Representation matters, and so does brand awareness for a product that can keep its user alive.”

Awareness is not just enough for a community that may take measures some could deem extreme in order to stay alive. In an article for The Mighty, Chris Ruden wrote about the illegal things that he does to stay alive due to costs associated with diabetes. “I get my insulin from other people in the diabetes community… Some people live in countries where insulin is purchased without a prescription and costs 1/10 of what it does here,” Ruden writes.

You can watch the Super Bowl commercial below.

Image via Dexcom/Youtube

Originally published: February 10, 2021
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