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 >>
Do Diabetic Test Strips Expire?
Glucose test strips are expensive. Are you wasting money if you throw away expired strips? Are they still accurate if you use them after they have expired? These are important questions to ask if you cannot afford new test strips, or want to use old ones. Furthermore, you may have too many and want to sell diabetic test strips before they expire. A company named Glucomart performed some tests to help answer these questions. The design and results of their study are shown below. Design They used test strips from different manufacturers that had been expired for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years. The expired strips were compared with the same brand unexpired strips. Three control solutions were used: normal, high, and low concentration glucose solutions. Test trips were tested three times in each control solution. Statistics were used to test the accuracy of each strip. The brands tested included: Accu-Check Aviva Plus Accu-Check Compact Advocate Bayer Breeze 2 Bayer Contour Bayer Contour Next Element Embrace FreeStyle FreeStyle Insulinx FreeStyle Lite Liberty Nova Max One Precision Xtra One Touch Ultra One Touch Ultra Blue TrueBalance TrueTest Results The accuracy of the test strips depended on: The brand of the test strip. The length of time since expiration. [thumbnail target=”_self” alt=”Accuracy of the test strips by brand ” src=”There was no significant difference between the accuracy of unexpired strips and those that had been expired for up to 1 year. Most strips that expired 2 years previously were accurate, except for Precision Xtra: Precision Xtra strips that expired 2 years ago were not accurate or precise. Those that expired 3 years ago gave false low readings. Most test strips that expired at least 5 years ago were less precise and accurate. They sometimes ga Continue reading >>
Do Test Strips & Diabetic Supplies Really Expire?
As I mentioned, I’ve been searching for an article on pharmaceutical expiration dates for a week. But finding an objective piece in a sea of editorials (including my own posts on the subject) was very frustrating. This morning, I stumbled onto an article titled Do Medications Really Expire? It’s from a 2003 Psycho-pharmacology column in Medscape (Thomas A. M. Kramer, MD). The article’s findings are worth reading… I just want to clarify one point. Insulin is one of the exceptions to the rule. Do not use expired insulin! Okay, here’s another excerpt followed by a link to the whole story: “Manufacturers put expiration dates on for marketing, rather than scientific, reasons,” said Mr. Flaherty, a pharmacist at the FDA until his retirement in 1999. “It’s not profitable for them to have products on a shelf for 10 years. They want turnover.” That they do. Here’s a clip and the rest of the story: “One of the largest studies ever conducted that supports the above points about ‘expired drug’ labeling was done by the US military 15 years ago, according to a feature story in the Wall Street Journal (March 29, 2000), reported by Laurie P. Cohen. The military was sitting on a $1 billion stockpile of drugs and facing the daunting process of destroying and replacing its supply every 2 to 3 years, so it began a testing program to see if it could extend the life of its inventory. The testing, conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ultimately covered more than 100 drugs, prescription and over-the-counter. The results showed that about 90% of them were safe and effective as far as 15 years past their original expiration date.” 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 >>
Unistrip1 Vs. Onetouch Ultra Blue: Does A Generic Strip Hold Up?
Diabeticcare is committed to bringing quality and affordable glucose testing supplies to our customers. Recently, we have started to offer Unstrip1 Test Strips as a cost-effective alternative to the brand name OneTouch Ultra Blue Test Strips. The two test strips, UniStrip1 and OneTouch Ultra Blue, are both made to work with OneTouch Ultra Meters with UniStrip1 is advertised as the “generic alternative” to the Blue test strips. UniStrip1 was approved by the FDA at the end of 2013 after undergoing extensive clinical trials. UniStrip1 is made by UniStrip Technologies, LLC, a company dedicated to creating affordable, high quality, and easy-to-use test strips for those who can’t spend a lot on their diabetes management or who don’t have insurance to help them. It features accurate results that are closely comparable to the results obtained by using the OneTouch Ultra Blood Glucose Monitoring System, provided the meter was manufactured before 2012, as after that time the two are no longer compatible, however the coding of the Unistrip1s is 49 in the OneTouch meters as opposed to 25 for the original strips. In an effort to stay true to our goals, we encouraged our customers to create an independent review of the new Unistrip1 diabetic test strips. The Results! Review 1: A long time customer and his wife tested the two kinds of test strips in a side-by-side comparison. The result using the UniStrip1 test strip was 195 compared to the Ultra Blue strip that gave a reading of 98, which is his usual range. His wife’s results were 131 with the OneTouch Ultra Blue strip, and 234 with the UniStrip1 strips. Review 2: Another participant compared the Unistrip1 and the OTUB over two days at the same time and using the same finger. His readings had a difference of 18-20 points, Continue reading >>
One Touch Ultra Test Strips: Faster Blood Drawing!
Are you interested in speeding up blood drawing, while eliminating pain and discomfort? One Touch Ultra Test Strips mean an end to the inconveniences associated with normal blood sugar (glucose) test strips. You see, these diabetic test strips have been developed with patients’ time, convenience, and budgets in mind! But first, let’s discuss how blood is drawn with One Touch Ultra Test Strips. Normally, patients must draw blood throughout the day. Once the blood is drawn, it’s applied to glucose test strips. At this point, the diabetic test strips are placed into one touch ultra glucose meters, and the glucose measurements are displayed. How One Touch Ultra Test Strips Simplify Your Life As a loyal ADW Diabetes customer, you know that we only carry products shown to be effective for diabetes management. One Touch Ultra Blue Test Strips reward users with convenient, comfortable testing, every single time! Among the benefits of the One Touch Ultra: Celebrate Speed – One Touch Ultra Test Strips boast one revolutionary feature; the exclusive “Fastdraw” Design. Basically, the One Touch Ultra test strips just need to lightly touch the blood samples. The One Touch Ultra then automatically draws blood, making the entire process much faster. Also, these glucose test strips enable the results to appear in as little as five seconds! Assured Accuracy – A One Touch Ultra allows for far more precise test results. Once the glucose test strips draw enough blood, it’s easier to receive accurate readings. Pain Reductions – Users report that Ultra Test Strips are less painful and uncomfortable when drawing blood. Much smaller amounts of blood are necessary, so pain is minimized. Blood can also be drawn at alternate locations, such as the forearm Financial Savings – As Continue reading >>
One Touch Ultra Test Strips And/or Equivalents
One Touch Ultra Test Strips One Touch Ultra Test Strips Description One Touch Ultra Test Strips effectively handles testing, diagnosing and maintaining blood sugar levels for diabetes patients. OneTouch Ultra facilitates self-monitoring level of glucose. Self monitoring is important especially if you intend to maintain your glucose levels at an optimal level. Every day lows and highs related to diabetes can be managed with OneTouch Ultra. These test strips can be used with OneTouch Ultra, OneTouch UltraLink, OneTouch UltraMini, OneTouch UltraSmart, OneTouch Ultra2 as well as InDuo Metering systems. OneTouch Ultra Test Strips are today available in quantities of 100, 50 and 25. The test strips are meant to be used outside your body (vitro diagnostic usage). OneTouch Ultra has been in the market for over 5 years and has delivered more than 50, 000 test results. Conditions Treated By One Touch Ultra Test Strips OneTouch test strips employs a Fast Draw design that makes testing blood glucose less painful, easy and fast for all individuals suffering from diabetes. Making use of OneTouch Ultra Meters ensures a convenient and accurate testing of blood glucose levels. Use test strips on these meters. All that is required is a speck of blood and five seconds to determine levels of glucose in your blood. This indicates less pain when you use the meter on your forearm or finger. The end of the test strip should be touched to your sample of blood to get accurate reading. This test strip draws up blood automatically making it easy for the user to see the reading. Benefits of using OneTouch Ultra Test Strips Some of the important benefits offered by this product involve the following a)Minimal pain: The test strip can be used on your forearm instead of your fingers. Your forearm is u Continue reading >>
The Problem With Generic Test Strips
In concept, generic blood glucose test strips sound like a great idea. Made by 3rd party manufacturers (i.e. a company other than the one that makes your meter), they often (claim to) work with a variety of different meters, and tend to be much less expensive than their counterparts. Given that big-name test strips can cost $1 to $1.50 a pop, it makes sense that people with diabetes (not to mention insurance companies and government payers) would be eager for a cheaper solution. But there’s a problem: those cost savings are only relevant if the generic test strips are accurate. If they’re not accurate, then you may miscalculate your insulin dose. And if you miscalculate your insulin dose, you could die. (To put it a different way, if a blood glucose test strip doesn’t accurately measure your blood glucose, then it’s not technically a blood glucose test strip. You might as well read tea leaves.) Personally, I can’t wrap my head around the fact that there is currently no system in place to ensure that test strips that have been cleared by the FDA for sale continue to meet those accuracy standards after they’re on the market. (But it’s true: there’s not.) I also can’t get over the fact that Medicare continues to insist that there have been no negative effects of its recently implemented competitive bidding program for mail-order diabetes supplies — despite evidence (for example, this study from the American Association of Diabetes Educators) clearly indicating that the program is restricting people’s access to blood glucose testing supplies, and pushing them — often against their will — toward problematic generic meters and strips. (Important note: they’re not allowed to do this! Scroll down on this page for more information.) But in the rare mo 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 >>
Counterfeit Test Strips Discovered In United States: Onetouch® Ultra® And Onetouch® Basic®/profile® Test Strips
company and makers of the OneTouch® Brand of diabetes testing supplies, has identified several incidents of counterfeit OneTouch® Ultra® and OneTouch® (Basic®/Profile®) Test Strips. These test strips being sold in the United States are intended for use with various models of LifeScan's OneTouch® Brand Blood Glucose Monitors used by people with diabetes to measure their blood glucose.1 Performance testing of the counterfeit test strips obtained by LifeScan to date shows erratic test results that do not meet LifeScan's performance specifications. It is unknown how counterfeit test strips which may be in the marketplace will perform. LifeScan cannot ensure the accuracy and reliability of blood glucose test results obtained from test strips it did not manufacture. Patients should discontinue use of these counterfeit test strips and replace them immediately. Patients should also contact their physician to assess potential treatment implications. Use of these counterfeit test strips could result in inaccurate test results that may lead to improper treatment. For example, insulin treatment based on inaccurate blood glucose results could result in serious injury or death. The outer cartons of the recently discovered counterfeit test strips have all of the following characteristics: OneTouch Ultra Test Strips Multiple Languages—English and French text on the outer carton; Lot Number 2691191 (located on outer carton and vial); and Limited to 50-Count OneTouch Ultra Test Strip packages. OneTouch (Basic/Profile) Test Strips Multiple Languages—English, Greek and Portuguese text on the outer carton; Lot Numbers 272894A, 2619932 or 2606340 (located on outer carton and vial); and Limited to 50-Count OneTouch (Basic/Profile) Test Strip packages. A detailed description of this Continue reading >>