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Fired Up Friday – High Cost of Diabetes Test Strips

This week’s edition of Fired Up Friday is something that I know fires up everybody.  The high cost of diabetes testing strips.  Supplies in general are expensive, but I’m just trying to focus on the strips themselves because I think we use more of these than any other supplies.  Do a quick search for “cost of diabetic test strips” or “how much does it cost to make diabetes test strips” and look at the results.  Here is a screen shot from one of those searches and I am amazed by what I find.

What did you see?  Did you see anything that actually tells me how much it costs to make a test strip?  I didn’t see anything.  So, I am not going to speak and argue about things that are not fact.  So a fact is, I don’t know exactly how much it costs to make a test strip.  From the automation process of it, I would say that it can’t cost anymore then, let’s say, $0.05 to make one strip.  If this is the case, then why does one box of 100 strips at a retail pharmacy cost on average, $100?  That is $1 per strip.  That is a 95% profit.  What business has a 95% profit, seriously?

To the manufacturers, you have made enough money off of us already.  It’s not like we are going anywhere anytime soon, we are still going to use your products.  Let’s look at the economics behind it, and let’s take a look at a dollar store.  How can a dollar store make money by selling things for $1 that even Wal-Mart sells for $5.00?  Easily, the quantity they sell, (there are other reasons as well, such as being bulk and buying short dated).  They can sell 5 things at $1, and Wal-Mart sells 1 at $5, they both make the same amount of money essentially.  So how can diabetes manufacturers work like this?

This is very simple.  Cut your prices in half and you will sell twice as more.  A lot of people have switched from using the top brands to a cheaper brand because the strips are 50-60% cheaper, and they work pretty much the same way.  I’ve used just about every meter out there and they give me the same results, so get off your high horse, especially that “One” company that thinks everything they “Touch” is gold!  Not that I am pointing anybody out or anything.  Not like they will read the “Life” of a diabetic and “Scan” this blog to read what people have to say.  Get over yourself!

Moving on.  Testing yourself and seeing good results is an addiction.  It really is.  When I am trying to manage my sugar the best, I test 12-16 times a day.  So what does this mean?  It means that I will buy twice the amount of boxes of strips if the prices were cut in half.  I would continue to spend the same amount of money, and I wouldn’t go and buy a cheaper brand, I would stick with your top name brand.  By you not cutting your prices, you are losing business.  Do you not see that?  I think a lot of these big shots at the top manufacturers were too hung over or stoned to go to their Economics 101 class in college.

I dare to see a top manufacturer cut your prices in half, go $0.30 per strip.  I know it would make me want to use the product, and I know I’m not the only one to think so.  I can bet that your company’s new price structure would be the hot topic of the diabetic community.  But are you listening?  Are you out there Freestyle?  Hello Bayer? Those arrogant guys, you there too, or you too busy golfing and playing polo somewhere?  I know Roche has brought the diabetic community before and plans on doing it again this year at Children with Diabetes, but not too sure about the others.

Show me some goodwill on your end, and I show you a customer for life!

I’ll be here waiting for your next move, but I won’t be holding my breathe.

What say you?

7 thoughts to “Fired Up Friday – High Cost of Diabetes Test Strips”

  1. Here. here!!! I have LADA, the use of insulin requires that I stay on top of my Blood glucose lever, it is life or death. So why do I feel like you are committing highway robbery every time I go to buy strips? In order for a diabetic to be healthy they must test, if they don’t test and their sugars are out of control, out of control blood sugar causes the expensive complications associated with diabetes–preventable complications. Help us stay healthy, lower the price of these test strips!

  2. Yes, the cost is outrageous! I have to pay $600 every 3 months with 2 kids with Type 1 Diabetes. That’s with insurance paying half of it. Totally insane!

  3. Hello,
    I want to start an advocacy program for cheaper test strips and supplies in general. I am calling it RED THURSDAY. I would like to know would you mind coming together and start a plan of action? I think the community is being taken advantage based on our need for these supplies and test strips.

    Please let me know something

  4. So glad to here I’m not the only one growling and gritting my teeth when I’m paying $1 per strip. Why is this not on any news show? Why are diabetics bearing the burden of funding pharmaceutical companies? What does it really cost to produce these strips? It’s a shame and a disgrace!!

  5. Shame on all who profits on the health of others. God will remember!!! What goes around comes around. There is more than one reason I go to church. It helps me to keep things in perspective. I believe there are people living in their earthly mansions, driving their “Golden Chariots”, and yes, buying “mini-golden chariots for their children.” (Oh!, arent’t you the talk of the town). There is a price to be paid, and one day, you will pay it. I hope you remember this warning. I hope you turn from your wicked ways, and find God, before it is altogether too late. I believe God frowns on those who gouge on charging so much for health products The Holy Bible tells me Hell is hot, and it lasts forever. Think on these things.

  6. I am a family physician, and appreciate everyone’s posts here. My upcoming blog post this upcoming Monday, 6/13/2011, is about this issue – the cost of diabetic testing supplies. I go one further – I think all testing supplies should be free. The end cost savings (less heart attacks, kidney failure, amputations) for insurance companies will more than outweigh what the supplies cost.

    There are those of us trying to advocate for our patients. Keep up the good fight, everyone.

  7. Ok, folks. As it happens I work in the
    pharmaceutical industry, AND I’m diabetic as well. So while I share your cost concerns, realize there is much more overhead than you see in making absolutely certin things like test strips (never mind the drugs) arte safe and reliable EVERY time you use or buy them. And there is enormous paperwork to document all of this –just in case something does go wrong.
    Mind you there is still an above average profit in such stuff, just not nearly as extereme as your project ( your perhaps off by a factor of 10!


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