Skip to comments.Self-monitoring with blood glucose test strips inefficient use of health-care resources (Canada)
Posted on 12/21/2009 9:55:22 AM PST by decimon
Routine self-monitoring of blood glucose levels by people with type 2 diabetes who are not taking insulin is an ineffective use of health resources as the modest benefits are outweighed by the significant cost of test strips, suggest 2 studies http://www.cmaj.ca/embargo/cmaj091017.pdf and http://www.cmaj.ca/embargo/cmaj090765.pdf in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) www.cmaj.ca .
In Ontario, blood glucose test strips are the third largest cost for the Ontario Public Drug Programs in 2007/08, accounting for $100 million or 3.3% of drug expenditures. Usage of test strips increased by almost 250% from 76,320 people in 1997 to 263,513 people in 2008. Almost 53% of people aged 65 and over with diabetes received diabetes test strips by 2008. Sixty-three per cent of patients not receiving insulin used blood glucose test strips in 2008.
"In light of the overall costs and questionable benefits of blood glucose self-monitoring in many patients, more focused policy decisions regarding test strips have been proposed in several jurisdictions," write Muhammad Mamdani of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and coauthors in a study on options to reduce test strip usage. They project that expenditures associated with blood glucose self-monitoring will exceed $1 billion in Canada and suggest policy changes could lead to cost reductions.
This is very recent. I saw it the last time I went shopping.
It’s <$10 AFAIK.
I’ll be looking for those Meta, thank you for the tip. I seem to keep on my diet better by checking my A1c monthly - that way I know what my result is going to be before I visit my doc.
Years ago those with diabetes had to frequently visit their doctor for testing. The self check strips cut down significantly on doctor visits. I would think the test strips are cheaper than doctor visits. Of course with the new health care plan no one will be able to see the doctor frequently so I guess they will save money. As I see it, if you have diabetes and test strips are not paid for, and you can’t get in to see the doctor regularly to check your glucose then you will likely end up insulin dependendent and of course without proper care you will die sooner. So problem solved, they saved money on you and that is what really counts.
Thank you for your service. Hubby is also disabled veteran with diabetes and goes to an Army hospital for care. They have not (yet) limited his strips but the kind he uses are dated and if out of date by even one day will not give a reading. Instead of limiting his strips they give him a lot more than he needs and when they expire they have to be thrown away~ very wasteful. No logic is used with this sort of thing.
I don’t know about the strips the VA uses, but hubby gets his strips from an Army hospital and we have tried to buy them elsewhere and no one carries his type of strip. The pharmacists always say no one else has the same type of tester the Army gives patients. In order to buy our own strips we would have to buy a more common type of tester- glucometer or whatever it is called. It is one of the many odd issues with government run healthcare- Army, VA. Coming soon to everyone it seems.
There's the right way, the wrong way and the Army way. Or, in this case, the VA way.
I misread you. It is indeed the Army way. :-)
Proves these communists know nothing about free enterprise. When less people buy the strips the price will go up. DUMMIES!
The first few times I saw the Dawn phenomenon on my readings, it scared the crap out of me
Are we talking test strips here? Controlled in what state? They're not a controlled item by the FDA.
If you buy them at Walmart you don't need a prescription.
Should have made things clearer.
Amen. My son was just diagnosed in November.
As the friend of a Type 1 diabetic, pictures like that nauseate me and I'm usually not phased by medical imagery.
>>> “Can you buy these on your own? If so then do you know what they cost?”
Walmart, for one, carries a variety of diabetic testing supplies. It’s the test strips that seem to range the widest in price. I have a nice Bayer glucometer from when I had medical coverage, but the strips for it are among the most expensive. Once my dwindling supply runs out, I’m going to buy a different glucometer that’s cheaper to feed.
Or I might just go without testing. Dunno. *shrug* I’m gonna be without Metformin in due time as well. I sure wish it didn’t take a doctor and scrip just to get the stuff.
I agree. There is nothing about testing that affects the disease directly. In fact one study showed that more testing makes no difference in blood sugar levels. The people who tested more frequently did tend to be more depressed (didn’t like the results, I suppose), but the blood sugar levels of those who tested were no different from those who did not test. Testing does, however, greatly enrich the companies that make the little strips.
Even if you grant that testing shows people how certain foods affect their blood sugar levels, then after a while, I would think they would have a very good idea of that without constantly having to test. Testing, like the oral antiglycemic medications, merely gives people a false sense of security that they are doing “something” to deal with diabetes. I don’t think effective treatments to prevent long-term complications are here yet. So far, we are just altering numbers that fool us into believing we are making progress.
And once we get Obamacare, woe be to anyone who is deemed to be noncompliant with what the health nazis tell you to do. If you are overweight and have a broken leg, they will probably deny you treatment for your broken bone because you do not have an acceptable BMI. If you are diabetic, and they think you are not following the prescribed treatment regimen, then don’t expect care for ulcers on your feet. Yes, the Third Reich dream of a perfect, always healthy populace is about to be realized.
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