Americans with type 2 may not be receiving enough test strips that are needed

By Editor
7th June 2021
Type 2 diabetes

Americans with type 2 diabetes may not be receiving enough blood glucose monitoring (BGM) test strips to help them optimally manage their diabetes, according to new research.

According to Ascensia Diabetes Care, a leading diabetes care company and makers of CONTOUR® NEXT BGM and test strips, people with diabetes are overestimating the real price of test strips purchased over-the-counter (OTC), with the average price estimate at almost four times as much as the real cost.

There are approximately 12 million people with type 2 diabetes in the US who use a BGM to monitor their condition.

Ascensia’s recent survey of more than 750 people living with type 2 diabetes in the US found that, among those with health insurance, over half (54%) are topping up their prescriptions of test strips at least once a month by purchasing additional ones OTC and 79% do so least every two to three months, suggesting that they are either not prescribed enough or are underinsured.

‘Genuinely valuable’

Mary Puncochar, Head of US Region, at Ascensia Diabetes Care, said: “While there is a stronger rationale for blood glucose monitoring in people with type 2 diabetes who are using insulin, we believe it is genuinely valuable for everyone with type 2 diabetes, as it enables them to see how their blood glucose levels react to food, medication and exercise.

“With such a large percentage of people topping up their prescribed allocation of BGM test strips, our research indicates that many people with type 2 diabetes would like to monitor more regularly than their insurance allows for, suggesting they see a benefit in having more information about their blood glucose levels to help them manage their diabetes.”

The research also showed a lack of awareness about the real cost of test strips when purchased over-the-counter. On average, survey respondents with insurance expect each test strip to cost $1.69. However, in actuality, the average cost3 is approximately between 40 and 70 cents per strip, dependent on brand and where the purchase is made.

Ms Puncochar added: “Diabetes is an expensive life-long condition and managing the way through the maze of healthcare costs can be confusing for people. Being aware of the real cost empowers the consumer, enabling them to make an informed decision about the best way to pay for crucial diabetes supplies they need to help them manage their condition.

“Our research suggests that people are significantly overestimating the cost of purchasing test strips out of pocket, thinking it could be up to four times as much. For those with insurance that has a high co-pay, there might be times when cash or out-of-pocket could be the cheaper option for them.”

For more information and to access tools that can help assess the most cost effective option for obtaining test strips, please visit www.ascensiadiabetes.com/otc

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