Okay, first rant of the new year coming up…

I’m beyond needing to order test strips. I’ve resorted to using my old meter because I knew they would be expensive right now. To explain this would take a month of blog posts, so I won’t bore you with it here. The situation is this: I have a pretty great prescription plan at work, but there’s this time, usually in the middle of my plan year (which is now), when I have to pay for everything out of pocket for a period of time. And that time is now.

Well, I decided that I really do need to order new strips for my current meter, so I told myself I would bite the bullet and order the strips. Then I found out how much it would cost:


That’s nearly $1.00 USD per strip, people. I guess I should be happy they only want to give me an 88 day supply this time (in case you’re wondering, 7 50-strip packages equals 350 strips, divided by 88 days = 3.98 strips per day).

I’m all for companies making a profit on their product. But I also believe in a little fair play. I know it makes me sound like a “free market capitalist”, but if you’re going to produce a product that’s so expensive, shouldn’t I have the ability to shop around for the same product elsewhere? Either from another prescription provider or another manufacturer? Or both?

I know that the manufacturers will say that their product is proprietary, and they shouldn’t have to share it, and they’re doing everything they can to “create efficiencies” and keep costs to consumers as low as possible. It’s still a test strip, manufacturers. You’ve been making and marketing test strips for 25 years or more here in the USA. I grant that accuracy is an issue, and I’m glad you’re all working on it. But can’t you just make the strips you’re already making more accurate? And can’t all of you make the same test strip, and work on making that more accurate? Sounds like that alone could “create efficiencies”.

My take: Profit away, test strip manufacturers and prescription providers. But if it’s going to cost so much for something I really need, you should be willing to show me how much of a profit there is in 88 days worth of test strips. And I should be able to search for the same product elsewhere, from multiple vendors. Trust me… I’m going to be a loyal customer for the foreseeable future. I just think that when push comes to shove, diabetes necessity should trump profit (and accessibility should too). Is that too much to ask?

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  • seejendance  On January 4, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Strip costs are unreal. I have a large deductible to blow through starting now. And then everything is free after I meet it. A three month supply of test strips nearly meets it all in one shot.


  • scully  On January 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I still have a hard time wrapping my head around why insurance companies in the states have proprietary brands. are there hands shoved inside other people’s pockets or what? what determines a proprietary brand?

    just as well as why you guys have to fight for coverage to test your blood more than 3.98 times a day.

    hey, email me. I’ll buy your strips outright at which my insurance will cover 80% of and then I’ll ship them to you.

    and I hope they read this.


  • Scott K. Johnson  On January 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Good points, Stephen!


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