What We Learned When We Tried (and Failed) To Find The Best Blood Glucose Meter
Chris Hannemann, a 32-year-old product engineer in San Diego, California, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 8. For the past 24 years, multiple times a day, every day, he’s pricked his finger and used a blood glucose meter to measure the amount of sugar in his blood and decide whether to administer either insulin or a snack.The meter Hannemann uses regularly sometimes gives him readings that suggest his blood sugar levels are normal, even when he feels woozy or loses fine motor control (early effects of low blood sugar levels). “As someone who’s been comatose multiple times [due to other diabetic issues],” he told us, “it’s not fun.” During a doctor’s visit, Hannemann noticed that his glucose levels in lab tests seemed different than the measurements he would take himself. He suspected that his blood glucose meter was giving him inaccurate readings. To prove his theory, he ran a series of tests on 10 different meters. Hannemann found that readings from different meters varied from each other by as much as 60 percent, even though they were analyzing the same drop of blood, and varied 30 percent on average from each other. He published his findings in a Medium post. This discovery frustrated him because there’s so little information on glucose meter accuracy. “As a patient, you have no knowledge of this,” he said. Now, if he is using the inaccurate meter, he mentally calculates the difference. “If I check my glucose and it reads 90, I have to remind myself, ‘Oh, you actually need to eat something before you go drive or run or something.’” Accuracy matters to people like Hannemann and the many patients like him. Twenty-one million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, and another eight million have diabetes but don’t know Continue reading >>
Top 10 Popular Blood Glucose Meters Put To The Test
With countless blood glucose meters on the market, how do you know which one to choose? Do you choose the most expensive one; it must work the best if it costs the most, right? Or are you a techie looking for a Bluetooth meter that syncs to your smartphone? Perhaps, you’re concerned with the cost and you’re looking for the most affordable meter. Top 10 Glucose Meters We’ve taken the time to test the ten most popular blood glucose meters. Take a look to find the meter that’s the best fit for you. Winner and our favorite meter is One Touch Ultra 2. OneTouch Ultra 2 Accu-Chek Aviva Connect Walmart ReliON Confirm OneTouch Verio Abbott FreeStyle Lite Walgreens True2Go Contour Next EZ Livongo Health In Touch Meter Nova Max Plus Sanofi iBGStar Our Pick After a careful review of the top glucose meters on the market, our #1 recommendation is the One Touch Ultra 2. It’s simply one of the best in terms of functionality and price. Click here to learn more. (Helpful Tip: Although you can get one from your local pharmacy, you’ll find it cheaper on Amazon. Click here to get yours.) Accu-Chek Aviva Connect The Accu-Chek Aviva Connect gets its name from the Bluetooth connection that syncs to the user’s smartphone. The Connect utilizes an app to keep track of both short-term and long-term readings on a person’s smartphone. The user can also view their trends via bar graphs and maps on the app. The Accu-Chek Aviva Connect will cost you $29.99 and $1.75 for a single test strip. One con to this meter is that the test strips are one of the highest priced strips on the market. However, they are readily available in almost all drug stores and pharmacies. Accu-Chek also offers a supplemental program called Preferred Savings which can reduce most test-strip co-pays to $15-$45. Ot Continue reading >>
The Scoop On Finding Cheap Test Strips And Meters
I have always had the luxury of health insurance and I’m eternally grateful for that, but many times when I read comments left on blogs, my heart aches for those people who suffer the burden of paying for their diabetes supplies out of pocket I will admit the feeling of being covered is worth every penny. David’s recent blog focused on a new meter and many of the comments that were left asked how to pay for test strips. Blood sugar testing is the most important factor in taking action against diabetes complications! That said, I thought I would do a little market research for where to find the cheapest test strips on the Internet and in local stores. Using my One Touch Ultra Mini as the model for comparison, and Consumer Reports to compare accuracy and dependability factors, I sat at my computer for 4 days looking up cheap test strips. Let’s just say that I had no idea what I was getting into, but I felt sick with what I saw as marketing for “cheap” test strips, as many were anything but cheap! Just for your information, Consumer Reports Health ratings for most accurate, consistent and easy to use meters, 1= most favored, 10 = least favored by CR standards: Meter Price Per Strip 1. One Touch Ultra Mini $1.14 2. Ascensia Contour $1.10 3. One Touch Ultra2 $1.14 4. ReliOn Ultima (WalMart) *CR ranked as best buy $0.44 5. One Touch UltraSmart $1.14 6. Nova Max $0.96 7. Freestyle Lite $1.30 8. Accu-Chek Aviva $1.10 9. Freestyle Freedom $1.30 10. Duo-Care - blood glucose/blood pressure $0.90 11. Ascensia Breeze 2 $1.10 12. True Track (drugstore chain label) $0.60 Since we know accuracy is under scrutiny, I think it best to rely on your own feelings for what works best for you! Of the twenty sites I browsed, Amazon.com had the cheapest test strips for most meters and Continue reading >>
What Meter Has The Cheapest Test Strips?
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please,join our community todayto contribute and support the site. This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies. My online drug store which is Caremark told me my meter has high price strips that cost me for testing me three times a day and ninety days would be $240.00. My meter is Contour. From what I've found it appears that the Wal-Mart ReliOn brand strips are the least expensive at about $43.00 per 100 strips. Yes, I would also say that the Walmart "ReliOn" brand is the best value. My insurance covers my strips and I use One Touch, but I do have a ReliOn meter and strips I bought to just have on hand at my parents' house. I keep One Touch Ultra 2 meters at home and my office and a One Touch Mini in my purse. I compared the ReliOn meter to one of my One Touch meters and they were both in agreement. Diabetic Supplies Online - Diabetes Testing Supplies - American Diabetes Wholesale The only one I've used on here is the prodigy, and it has given results close to my onetouch ultra. Home Aide Diagnostics Easy Check: 13.79 for 50 I had a ReliOn as a backup meter a few years ago. It worked fine. The meter was very resonable and the strips were also. I have Caremark for my prescriptions too. My copay for 90 days worth of one touch is almost 100, I found out that if I use the durable medical part of my regular insurance , the same one I get my pump supplies thru, that I pay less for strips thru the DME benifits . You might see if that is an option. What is the perferred meter and strips thru Caremark for you ? They should have a better copay than the Contour also. I know that this thread is already 3 years old, but I just wanted to let everyone know that the information contained within it is still valuable. Continue reading >>
New "generic" Test Strips May Be Better Than Originals
The diabetes community has long been calling for cheaper, generic glucose test strips that would ideally work with a variety of meter brands. Dream on, right? In fact, some companies out there are making excellent headway in the "generic" category, despite being under siege by "the big guys." One of those is a small Southern California-based company called Pharma Tech Solutions that's looking to enter the market with a product it's eager to distribute called the Shasta GenStrip -- a more affordable alternative that can be used with the top-selling JnJ LifeScan meters (OneTouch and Ultra brand meters lead the U.S. market). So they're bravely going up against one of the largest players to offer users strips for roughly half the price (!), but won't we patients be compromising on quality, we wondered? What if the cheap-o strips just don't work as well? Not a problem, according to Pharma Tech Solutions and its parent company, Decision Diagnostics Corp. Marketing materials on the company website claim that Shasta GenStrips are comparable to existing OneTouch strips but are more accurate and half the cost. They are "likely to cost 50% of the branded product without sacrificing quality," the company claims. Decision Diagnostics submitted the GenStrip to the FDA for pre-market 510K approval in December 2010, and just recently on Nov. 30, 2012, received FDA notice that their strip was "substantially equivalent" to the strips already on the market and could be sold in the U.S. Not-So-Generic Terminology is important, the company's chief financial officer Keith Berman told me by phone earlier this week. "They're not 'generic,'" insists Berman. "A generic is an indication that your product is exactly the same as the one it's based off of. This isn't. It's an independently developed Continue reading >>
Our Tests Find Affordable Strips For Blood-glucose Meters
Giving blood for your job sounds a little extreme, but it's exactly what our panel of volunteer staffers did for our latest tests of 21 blood-glucose meters. For our tests, phlebotomists took blood from staffers with and without diabetes and compared multiple readings from the meters against those from our lab glucose analyzer. But there were some perks for the 15 panelists, including Angry Birds and SpongeBob bandages and Oreo cookies! Our tests found that most of the meters were quite accurate. The top nine models from our Ratings were all excellent. But the big news, especially if you pay for those expensive strips yourself, was that you can save a lot of money by opting for store brand meters from places like Target and Walmart. Some of our best blood-glucose meters also have convenient features like auto-strip coding and fast results. In addition to our accuracy and repeatability tests, we also used a panel of six staffers with diabetes who checked out the meters and told us how easy they were to use. One of the panelists, a type 1 diabetic, said a backlit screen, big memory and the ability to download your readings to a computer are all desirable features. He doesn't have a big memory on his current meter, so he has to write out a week's worth of readings before he goes to the doctor, which he says is tedious. He also mentioned a few other things he's learned over the last 20 years or so. Traveling this fall? He says to pack extras of everything, including lancing devices, lancets, test strips, and even an extra meter. He also checks his blood before he drives or exercises. "All diabetics who take insulin need to test their blood sugars, at the very least, one or two times a day in order to adjust dosage and avoid low blood sugar," says Marvin Lipman, M.D., our ch Continue reading >>
Why Do Test Strips Cost So Much? (part 2)
Last week I was busy being blown away by the amazing technology of glucose test strips. But back to reality. Why do these things cost so much? Why do prices vary by 600% or more? From what I can tell on Consumer Reports, customer reviews, articles like this one in Diabetes Forecast, and comments on diabetes blogs, it seems like most meters and strips have pretty similar quality. So how do you choose? Meters have a variety of features. Some have backlights, which is nice in the dark. Some speak to you, which helps people with poor vision. Some can store more results in memory. Some hook to your computer or smart phone with a cable to upload results; others connect with wireless; others don’t have that function. Some create graphs for you of various types. Meters are temperature sensitive. Some can function at higher temperatures; others can work at lower temperatures. Some burn through batteries faster than others. Some seem to need a little more blood than others to get a reading. Diabetes Forecast says meters are so similar that some people just buy the cheapest one, and it works for them. But most meters are cheap. The cost comes in the strips. So the best meter might be the one with the most affordable strips. When it comes to strip cost, the mega-retailers like Walmart, Walgreens, and Kroger have an advantage. And the quality seems comparable. One user commented that Strips for [Walmart Prime] run $9.00 per fifty, a $60 cost reduction from my Accu-Chek strips which are $69 at Costco. On a typical reading of 180 the meters will be maybe two points different. Pretty darn close. But that cost advantage only holds if you don’t have insurance. A lot of insurers will pay for Accu-Chek, OneTouch, or some more expensive strips, but won’t pay for a Walmart Prime or Wal Continue reading >>
Diabetes On A Budget
Diabetes is expensive. Test strips, drugs, and food that doesn't raise your blood sugar all cost money, but for a lot of us, the money to pay for these necessities has become hard to find. If you are finding yourself in a crunch here are a few ideas that may help. Test Strips If you don't have insurance coverage test strips are obscenely expensive and the cost is getting worse every month. Still, used properly they can be the most powerful tool you have in the battle to avoid blindness, amputation, and kidney failure--all of which have been linked to blood sugars that stay above 140 mg/dl for a few hours each day. You can often find deals on brand name strips online. Amazon features several merchants offering Test Strip Deals. From the customer feedback it appears that these are legitimate, though you may receive strips that are a few months from their expiration date. This should not make any difference in how they function. If you use an older One Touch Ultra or an One Touch Mini which allows you to set and change the strip code, there are two brands of generic test strips available now that will work with these meters while costing far less than the brand name strips. The first is Genstrips. Unfortunately, the FDA issued a warning in April 2014 stating that these strips were not accurate and that the manufacturer had failed quality inspections. When I used these strips last year, they worked well, but reviewers on Amazon who had the same experience said newer strips gave really bad readings. Even less expensive are the UniStrip Test Strips. They do have been recalled by the FDA for being inaccurate Some people have found good test strip deals on eBay. Avoid ordering strips when it is very hot, as they may be damaged by sitting in a very hot truck. The Relion brand me Continue reading >>
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Best Cheap Blood Glucose Meters
Cheap blood glucose meters are still accurate and consistent It may be tempting to judge a blood glucose meter solely by its initial cost. But given that someone testing their glucose levels four times a day can blow through more than 100 test strips in a month, a glucose meter's true cost is best measured by how much you spend on test strips over time. In fact, some major manufacturers give away their meters for free because they recoup their losses on sales of test strips. Still, the meters with the lowest yearly operating cost also tend to cost very little themselves. Take our best-reviewed cheap glucose meter, the Bayer Contour Next (Est. $15). It's one of the few truly inexpensive meters that not only makes it into clinical trials but also excels: In a study published in 2014 in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, researchers found that the Bayer Contour Next outperformed a professional glucose monitor designed for point-of-care testing. This small, inexpensive glucose meter also receives Excellent scores for accuracy from a leading consumer research organization, alongside Very Good scores for repeatability and convenience. User reviews on the Bayer Contour Next tend to be very short and to the point; at this price, users just want a blood glucose meter that does its job. But they also love not having to code the meter when they open a new vial of test strips, being able to collect blood from almost any angle, and having the option to add more blood to the test strip if there wasn't enough the first time. The Bayer Contour Next requires a 0.6 microliter blood sample and allows you to use your palm as an alternate testing site. Other popular features -- and unusual finds on a glucose meter in this price range -- include the ability to add notes to store Continue reading >>
New Blood Glucose Meter Provides People With Diabetes An Accurate, Affordable Solution For Glucose Testing-without Insurance Copays
Now a new, slim-designed Abbott blood glucose meter with high accuracy is available over-the-counter at major U.S. retailers at a lower cost than other branded meters and test strips, and without the need for insurance paperwork and copays often needed to purchase branded diabetes supplies. This new meter, the FreeStyle Precision Neo Blood Glucose Monitoring System™, received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance and is now available at a cost of between $14-$17 USD for 25 strips and a one-time fee for the meter, which ranges from $22-$28 USD. "People with diabetes depend every single day on trusted, high-quality tools to monitor their glucose levels," said Robert Ford, senior vice president, Diabetes Care, Abbott. "This dependence makes it even more important to ensure people have affordable access to accurate, fast, and easy-to-use systems such as FreeStyle Precision Neo system. Today, more than ever, consumers have more influence on their healthcare decisions, and Abbott is focused on offering products that provide the highest standard of accuracy, and are also affordable and easily accessible over the counter." According to the American Diabetes Association, the medical costs of people living with diabetes are about 2.3 times higher than for people without the disease.i In addition, the process associated with healthcare insurance paperwork can be a challenge for some individuals. To help provide a solution, Abbott developed FreeStyle Precision Neo—the first system from Abbott's FreeStyle family of products that is available over the counter with preferred copay pricing, giving patients the option to pay out of pocket to obtain their monitor and test strips. The FreeStyle Precision Neo System features include: Monitor's memory holds up to 1,000 readings S Continue reading >>
Comparing The Cost Of Diabetes Test Strips At Major Retailers
Where’s the best place to buy blood glucose monitor test strips over-the-counter? And which test strips are the most affordable? We took a look at the top blood sugar test strip costs at a few of the major retailers to see what the best deals are. Hands down, the ReliOn brand of test strips is the most affordable if you’re paying for test strips out-of-pockt at a meager 18 cents per strip (in a 50 count box) at Walmart and 35 cents (in a 50 count box) if you buy on Amazon. However, it’s only available at Walmart (and Amazon), so that can make it difficult if there isn’t a Walmart in your area. The next most affordable test strip is the Bayer Contour Next, which came it between 77 cents and 86 cents per strip in their 50 count boxes if you buy them at a brick-and-mortar store, or 24 cents per strip on Amazon. Lifescan’s One Touch Ultra Blue, Roche’s Accuchek Aviva, and Abbott’s Freestyle Lite came in at well over a dollar a strip at all the major pharmacy retailers, but all of them in under a dollar a strip if you buy on Amazon. Roche’s Accuchek Aviva came in as the most expensive test strip at every retailer, except Amazon, where it came in a whole 5 cents cheaper than One Touch Ultra Blue. Amazon is for the most part the most affordable place to buy your test strips out-of-pocket, unless you’re buying Walmart’s ReliOn test strips. In that case, you’re better off just driving to Walmart. Here’s the full breakdown: Walmart One Touch Ultra Blue – 50 count: $68.79 / $1.37 per strip Freestyle Lite – 50 count: $81.64 / $1.63 per strip Bayer Contour Next – 50 count: $38.88 / $.77 per strip ReliOn Prime – 50 count: $9.00 / $.18 per strip AccuChek Aviva Plus – 50 count: $82.27 / $1.64 per strip Walgreens One Touch Ultra Blue – 50 count: $79.9 Continue reading >>
Cheap Diabetes Tests Can Now Be Printed With An Ink-jet Printer
Glucose strips that diabetics use to measure their blood sugar levels can be pretty pricey - but students have now come up with a way for people in poorer regions to simply print them out at home. Bioengineering students in the US have developed technology that lets people in the developing world use a hacked printer to print out glucose strips for just five cents each. They're also providing them with cheap parts to make their own device to measure their blood sugar levels. Glucose strips are part of blood glucose level tests diabetics need to perform around five or more times a day to work out how much insulin or food they need to inject to manage their diabetes and avoid complications such as blindness and cardiovascular disease. These strips are then inserted into machines called glucometers, which give them a reading of their levels. But right now, glucometer machines are hard to access and expensive. And if someone in a developing region can get their hands on one, it will only work with a specific brand of store-bought glucose strips, which can cost around $1 each. For a quarter of the people in Tanzania, where the students started their project, that adds up to around 10 times their average monthly salary. Now students from Clemson University in South Carolina have developed technology that lets people in developing countries build their own simple glucose testing systems at home for a fraction of the cost, and using easy-to-access parts. Called GlucoSense, the glucometer is made entirely from off-the-shelf parts that can be bought in electronics stores or easily shipped to remote regions in bulk. And the glucose strips required for each test are even easier to make - they’re simply printed with a hacked ink-jet printer. To create the glucose strips, you just Continue reading >>
Cheapest Diabetic Test Strips Available Here!
Manufacturers of diabetic test strips are always seeking new ways to enhance their glucose monitoring systems to gain more share of the market. While brand test strips are continually adopting new features, the competition is at its highest. You would think the price of diabetic test strips would drop in such a competitive environment but the reality is proving otherwise. The cost of glucose test strips have have recently increased as some of the biggest manufacturers such as Roche or OneTouch raised their prices by almost 10% just this last month. The cost of diabetic test strips continues to rise as more individuals are diagnosed with diabetes. According to American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million Americans lived with diabetes in 2011. This numbers makes up about 8.3% of the U.S Population. Though this number is only on the rise much like the cost of test strips, individuals with diabetes will continue to look for ways to save money on their diabetic test strips. The good news, thanks to internet technology, finding cheapest diabetic test strips is now easier than ever. Cheapest diabetic test strips are often found online. Unlike large pharmacies such as Walmart, Rite Aid, or Walgreens which continue to retail test strips at high prices, Diabetic Outlet offers the cheapest diabetes tests strips in singles and bundles to keep diabetes management affordable for people with diabetes who pay out of pocket for their glucose test strips. See a list of our discounted diabetic test strips and compare for yourself: Diabetic Outlet offers free shipping and fast delivery on most major name brands of glucose testing strips including: Accu-Chek, Bayer, FreeStyle, Nipro, One Touch Ultra, Unistrip, Prodigy, and more. Continue reading >>
Why You Shouldnt Buy Diabetes Test Strips From Resellers
Weve all seen the roadside signs or posters nailed to telephone poles. Unnamed sellers offer to buy unused test strips for people with diabetes . You may even see these supplies on online sites such as eBay, where test strips may be resold. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy What do they really offer? Inexpensive but unreliable, possibly unsafe blood glucose monitoring equipment and test strips. When you buy glucose meter kits and test strips from certified distributors, they have to pay attention to how they are stored and the expiration dates, says endocrinologist Betul Hatipoglu, MD . So there are multiple dangers when you buy from uncertified resellers. Dr. Hatipoglu cites a variety of potential health concerns. Strips purchased from these suppliers could have been stored improperly, exposing the strips to excessive heat or cold. This change in temperature causes damage to the testchil strips. Also, they may be expired or possibly even counterfeit. All of that means a higher chance of inaccurate test results if you use them. [Tweet For safe blood glucose test strips, avoid buying from uncertified resellers. #diabetes] Last year, Nova Max, one of the major manufacturers of test strips, issued a recall for defective test strips and meter kits. These products were reporting false, abnormally high blood glucose results. The company promptly notified all legitimate, registered users, health care professionals, pharmacies and distributors. The products were removed from legitimate sellers shelves. Unregistered third-party resellers, however, did not receive a notice. That means they didnt know they were supposed to remove the suppl Continue reading >>
When Do You Need A Prescription For Diabetic Test Strips?
When Do You Need A Prescription for Diabetic Test Strips? Whether or not you need a prescription to purchase diabetic test strips depends on one thing. Read this article to find out how it all works. If you’re one of the 29 million Americans living with diabetes, you likely have a lot of questions about how to get the medication you need. We’re sure you also have questions about how you can keep the costs of supplies, test strips, lancets, and hospital visits down. Even if you’re working out and taking care of yourself, you may feel like you can’t do much to fight back against the rising costs of life with diabetes. In this post, we’ll talk about whether or not you need a prescription to get diabetic test strips. We’ll also talk about how the cost of diabetes is different for the insured and the uninsured diabetes patient. No matter what your coverage is like, it’s always a smart idea to look for bargains, ways to save, and ways to make back some of the money you’ve spent on diabetic test strips. Read this post to learn how to save better. The Costs Of Diabetes: Insured vs. Uninsured There’s no getting around it: life with diabetes is costly. In fact, recent figures show that the average yearly cost for one person living with diabetes is about $13,700. Unfortunately, that same study showed that those without health insurance who are living with a diabetes diagnosis get 68% fewer prescriptions, and 79% fewer doctor visits, than those that are insured. Though most states have made sure insurance companies are required to cover medical costs and supplies, you still have to do a good amount of work to get certain things covered by your plan. You may even have to write them letters just to make back a small portion of what you spend on supplies like diabeti Continue reading >>