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Big news-LifeScan has won its patent infringement lawsuit against Polymer. People with diabetes see this issue as more than just an impersonal business announcement. This news affects our lives.
The lawsuit has been a major controversy for many months, and both sides argued persuasively. In this issue, DI presents the facts based upon court documents, plus statements from the judge and both parties. If you haven't followed our coverage in past issues, I urge you to take a good look at the article on page one about the outcome of LifeScan v. Polymer.
I am a big supporter of low-priced strips. The availability of bargain brands makes it possible for people on a budget to test their blood glucose more often. The difference in price between name-brand strips and generic products can translate into as much as a $600 annual savings for multiple testers. Because of the price issue, I supported Polymer when they brought out their product. It was a surprise for me to hear all the controversy around their First Choice strips and I was shocked at the judges verdict that Polymer had copied the LifeScan patient.
Pulling these strips off the market is a blow to those who need low-cost strips, but we must abide by the court's ruling. Having diabetes doesn't make anybody exempt from the law. But my fear is that, without the choice of low-cost strips, people will cut back on their all-important monitoring.
New Hope for Low-Price Seekers
The good new is, there may be another contender in the race toward lower-cost blood glucose testing. Cascade, a company that went out of business a year ago, is back on the scene with a low-priced strip for their own Checkmate meters. Cascade representatives claim that the demand for their product was so high that they found an investor to put up $200,000 to get the company going again. Cascade sent me a Checkmate meter to try out. I liked its design and size, but it took a lot of blood to get it going. A company representative told me they have fixed this problem, and the meter should only use 10µL of blood-about the same as LifeScan's One Touch. A box of 50 strips for the Checkmate costs just $19.95 at the discount house, or $36.95 for 100 strips. That's about half the price of other leading strips. And the Checkmate meters already have a good market presence as seen on our page one sales chart.
More Diabetes News
There's other major news in the world of diabetes, and DI has spent a busy two months trying to get it all into just two issues. We think we've done a great job-let us know what you think.
Everyone is buzzing with talk of metformin. It's been in use outside of the U.S. for twenty years, but how much do Americans know about it? Is it a "miracle drug?" Is it safe? Is it really any better than the other drug available? Check out our three big articles, especially the interview with Dr. Daniel Einhorn. You may be surprised by what you discover.
Then there are the new blood glucose meters-the Precision QID and the One Touch Profile. These are meters with a lot to offer. We've tried to sort out the best features of both so our readers will have a clear picture of which meter can best suit their needs. We found that both offer unique features.
People of all ages should read about Evelyn Narad, a 74-year-old woman with diabetes who thought she'd come to the end of her rope. Instead, she took charge of her diet and her life, turning things around 180-. Evelyn is sensible and outspoken, a real inspiration for everyone here at DI. We're sure you'll find hope in her story.
Knowledge is our greatest resource for maintaining good health and happy lives. DIABETES HEALTH is here to help.
Aug 1, 1995