This article is from the Diabetes FAQ, by Edward Reid firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
The cost of blood glucose measurement strips is a complex interaction
of R&D costs, manufacturing costs, marketing strategy, insurance
practices, and undoubtedly other factors. You can ask on the net if you
want; you'll get lots of comments but no answers.
There are a few of ways of reducing the cost of blood glucose
One is to seek out the best price for the strips; large stores such as
FEDCO often have good prices, as do some mail order suppliers (see mail
A second way is to choose a meter with lower cost strips. Your health
care team may be familiar with and prefer a particular meter, but it's
not likely that they considered cost in making their choice. If you
insist that you need a lower cost system, they should be willing to
work with you. All meters now on the market are adequately accurate for
A third way is to use visually read strips (Chemstrip bG and a couple of
lesser known brands) and cut them in half or even in thirds. Do the
cutting carefully with a pair of strong, *clean* scissors, and get the
strips back into the vial as quickly as possible. Some manufacturers
claim this procedure will cause problems, but those who have used the
technique report that it works well. Visually read strips are slightly
less accurate than meters. However, as of 1998, prices on visually read
strips are relatively high, and you will have to consider whether the
projected savings are worth the time to cut strips and the loss of the
convenience which meters give.
Do *not* cut strips when using them in meters. The results will be
Most discussion on m.h.d of the cost of blood glucose measurement strips
has centered on the US. I'm not sure why, though a good guess is that
differences in health care systems and national policies make this
issue more critical to the individual patient in the US. There is no
dearth of non-US participants on m.h.d.