A medical supply company that had touted its growth potential

because of rising wave of Americans diagnosed with diabetes

  has instead cut its work force here.

AmMed Direct, a Nashville-based mail-order company with $150 million a year in sales of drugs and medical equipment for diabetes patients, has cut staff by 17 percent, a move officials said reflects uncertainty about the industry and the national economy.

The layoffs follow the departure of Tom Milam, AmMed’s chief operating officer, under whose watch annual sales of insulin, diabetes kits and other medical necessities had grown.