Most Americans who suffer from diabetes check their sugar levels on a daily basis. For doing so, they require diabetes test strips that work along with their glucose meter for providing them with accurate glucose readings.
Diabetes test strips can set you back a fortune. That’s true, especially when you also include the fact that a diabetic has to utilize them on a daily basis. Some people may use them multiple times a day, which can increase their medical bills to extreme levels.
Test strips are highly crucial for diabetics. Unless you have enough insurance or healthcare, they can cost you a bombshell.
But why are test strips so costly?
While test strips differ from each other based on the meter that you utilize for monitoring your sugar levels, all strips are the same more or less.
A strip measures your blood sample’s glucose levels by measuring its electrical energy. Glucose is converted into an electrical current, which is then processed and displayed by the glucose meter.
Manufacturers do it by using enzymes that are capable of performing such conversions. However, they need to maintain a delicate balance. The enzyme must be kept active, but not excessively either.
Diabetic strips are capable of withstanding most weather fluctuations. Thus, they will not degrade these enzymes. That’s extremely important because were it not for this feature, users wouldn’t have been capable of storing the strips in their houses because of rampant temperature fluctuations.
Your meter will display a reading that will tell you the glucose content in the blood sample. Additionally, it will also alert you if you are nearing dangerous levels.
Although modern technology might seem incredible at times, these strips require only about $0.15 to be manufactured, at most. As a result, it is estimated that manufacturers of test strips have a profit margin of over 70% – 80% on these strips.
However, other people who are aware of the industry’s processes state that the manufacturing costs don’t necessarily reveal the whole picture. When people also factor in additional research expenses and costs of machinery, etc., the prices are quite rational, say many industry experts.
How Expensive Are Diabetes Test Strips?
A diabetes test strip can easily cost more than $2 a strip, something that large companies say is due to the amount of research they have to do for enhancing their product. Although scientists are making consistent progress in this department, measuring blood glucose levels using meters has been popular for decades now.
Ever since diabetic testing strips exploded in popularity, people with Type I diabetes have started monitoring their glucose levels regularly at home. But the high expenses related to purchasing needles, strips, and machines often deter Type II patients from testing their glucose levels. The high costs have also halted the government from making a decision regarding this matter.
As each strip can cost anywhere between $1 – $2 per strip, the government isn’t ready to accept such a huge financial burden, especially when you consider the staggeringly high number of people who suffer from the disease.
However, the burden is often too great for diabetes patients to handle on their own. While some patients get their strips paid for by Medicare or Medicaid, that’s not applicable for all patients.
Many people have no choice but to pay for the strips using their own funds, irrespective of the costs.
Does Pricier Mean Better?
Almost every test strip available today has the same degree of accuracy these days. While that wasn’t true in the past where expensive testing kits could produce more accurate results, almost every test strip available these days is accurate to the same degree.
However, diabetics must note that there could be a 20% difference between actual sugar levels and the reading displayed by the monitor. However, that’s true of almost all test strips.
How to Purchase Test Strips at Cheaper Rates?
You can make use of prescription assistance programs, online vendors, bulk purchase discounts, coupons, free samples, etc., to purchase test strips at cheaper rates. Such programs are incredibly helpful for people who don’t have a lot of disposable income. Some people also face a situation where they are left with excess, unused test strips that are nearing their expiry date. Instead of throwing them away, you can sell test strips to online vendors like Test Strips 4 Money that purchase your excess stock in exchange for money. They sell it to people who require the strips at discounted rates urgently and thus, ensure that the strips are not wasted.