A Good Argument for Free Test Strips?

Study Shows Testing More Likely if Strips Come at No Charge

| May 1, 2004

If you provide them they will test…

A new study found that if blood glucose meter test strips were provided for free, people with diabetes would be motivated to test more often.

Researchers from the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Manitoba in Canada studied 62 insulin-treated participants with diabetes. The participants were randomized to two groups and matched for age, sex, education, income, type and duration of diabetes, years of insulin treatment, number of daily insulin injections and A1Cs.

All participants were given a meter, but one group was given strips free of charge. The other group had to purchase test strips as they found it necessary.

After 12 months, it was discovered that the frequency of testing was higher in the group that did not have to pay for strips (two times per day versus 1.4 times per day, respectively).

A1Cs remained the same in the group that was given free test strips, but the group that paid for their own strips saw an increase in A1C values.

Diabetic Medicine, February 2004

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Categories: A1c Test, Blood Glucose, Diabetes, Diabetes, Insulin, Meters

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Posted by Anonymous on 6 November 2007

most of us have the meters perscribed to us and they are basically free or a loss leader for the companies that make them the real prize for them is the test strips we have to use...it seems to me that it should be a crime to price something that a person has to have as a tool to insure their survival is so expensive!

Posted by Anonymous on 30 November 2007

If they didn't make the strips so expensive, more people would be able to test their blood sugar like they need to.

Posted by Anonymous on 7 April 2008

it is so sad that you have to pay

Posted by prettydummy on 14 April 2008

howcome you don't offer free test strips testing does get very costly i get help from the state but out of pocket expense my too children and i were born with type one diabetis

Posted by Anonymous on 2 July 2008

I have been a type 1 diabetic for 40 years. I think that the test strips are the same philosophy as a cell phon plan. They will give you the tool, but all the cost is in the plan or strips. I have no insurance through my work so I do not test at all.

Posted by young diabetic on 7 July 2008

I cant test either... I have been a diabetic since I was 10... 13 years is a long time, but after 18 my parents couldnt cover me on their insurance anymore. For 5 years now I havent had an A1C below 11.. I'm dying from this and test strip companies are singing all the way to the bank. I cannot even begin to describe how wrong that is.......

Posted by Anonymous on 19 September 2008

I have to say I'm sort of shocked by the attitude I've found here. Who do you expect to pay for your test strips? There's no such thing as free, someone has to pay, if not you, who?

I've found sites on the internet selling test strips for as low as 25 cents each. I suspect your internet access costs more than testing. You're willing to do over $15/month but you'll spend $50 or more for internet access! Simply amazing.

Posted by Anonymous on 24 September 2008

Anyone who can not afford test strips should call Abbott (Freestyle meters). This company has a assistance program for anyone who can not afford strips. They will help you even if you have insuance as long as your strips are not covered. I work at a large chain pharmacy and have found that this is the only company that has a program like this.

Posted by Anonymous on 15 October 2008

Previous Lady, get a grip. Test strips average $62. per 50 at local WalMart. That's about one months supply.
Have Type II diabetes (just found out) I currently don't have a job, nor insurance. My doctor suggests testing 3/4 times a day until diabetes are under control. They have to know how expensive these strips are. I know at this point I can't afford them at all.
I have checked with the Medicaid assistance program and since I am not disable nor old enough (56) to qualifly, they are not willing to help with this expense. To bad I didn't claim to be pregnant!

Posted by Anonymous on 23 October 2008

I'm not sure what nationality this column is directed to. This study was conducted in Manitoba, Canada, which has a very interesting perspective - group A probably didn't pay a cent, and group B only had to pay their provincial deductable, which I believe is 3% of their gross annual family income (personal earnings + same or opposite sex spouse) minus $5000 per dependant, as per Revenue Canada. Therefore, even group B who had to pay, still would pay significantly less then our American friends to the south. If this study was conducted in North Dakota to the south, I bet the diversity would have been greater. As a Manitoban, I am outraged that I still have to pay a deductible equal to 3% to buy life-sustaining diabetic supplies, when my neighbours down the street, who may not have been genetically dispositioned with Type I, get to spend their money on other things, like, food or college funds. I test 4 to 5 times a day, and strips cost (before deductible is reached) $85/100 strips. OUTRAGEOUS! Glargine/Lantus is $80 for a package! After my deductible has been reached, it will be okay, but it eats away at a family's disposable income...
However, I am blown away at our American friend's legistators, who continue to play the tune of "too bad, so sad" for people with no control of their genes. Have you people not have the strength and might to face those legislators who deny decent access to quality of life? I mean, these guys are literally killing you!! Isn't there an Amendment to protect your life? Does this not count??? Taxpayers should be paying for the sick and ill, not the sick and ill who are already broke. Its a collective process, that in the end, helps everyone. It will be there when you need it. Anyway, this is for another blog. I wish the best for everyone in dealing with our chronic disease. The best thing is to monitor it without breaking the bank. Good luck, and I hope things change both here in Canada and the United States.

Posted by Anonymous on 18 February 2009

it doesnt make sence they give you free glucometer and about 10 free strips then what? its just like a bait so you can buy their strips. the whole healthcare system here sucks. im recently lost my job, like most of us these days, im tryong to live on one thousand dollars a month yet medicaid denied me cause i make too much money. what a joke. i guess u gotta live under a brige first. america should start helping americans here first we are turning into a third world country pretty soon.

Posted by Anonymous on 18 April 2009

I have no insurance and only a part time job and can't even afford the test strips so I don't know what I am going to do???????

Posted by Anonymous on 21 April 2009

whats sad is when you have insurance and still can't afford to go to the Dr. I can not afford the strips either. $25.00 for 25 strips.
I just can't do it. Since I hadn't been able to check my blood sugar I was shocked when I went to the Dr. today and my blood sugar was 458. Its just sad when the strips cost so much,that poor people like me can't even test once a day who should be testing several times a day.
I have noticed that people on medicare get over loaded with supplies that just sit there and go out of date. While so many people can't test at all.

Posted by Anonymous on 9 February 2010

Where can I get free testing strips? I do not have any type of insurance or income to purchase the testing strips for Acu check Avia.

Posted by Anonymous on 4 August 2011

My uncle has type 2 diabetes and I just went and got his first perscription test strips and with his WalMart insurance it cost 99.07 for 100 test strips. He just had a stroke and is on short term disability where he only receives 159.00 a week to pay all his bills. He lives alone and do to this he has lost 400.00 a month income and now these test strips are costing him close to another 100.00 a month. What the heck is a person supposed to do? He just had surgery to unclog his carotid artery and will have to have it done on the other side within the next 3 to 6 weeks. I am at a loss to try and help him. Any suggestions.

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