Diabetic test strips or glucose test strips are thin, one-time use, pieces of plastic that are placed into a meter to read your blood glucose levels. Blood can be either dropped onto a test strip or drawn into one, depending on the type.

The Test Strip Market

Diabetes care is a massive industry, a billion dollar industry, over $8 billion to be exact. And, one of the biggest money makers is the glucose monitor – diabetic test strip market. Individuals that have been diagnosed with diabetes place a small amount of blood on the test strip then insert it into a glucose monitor. The reading gives individuals with diabetes the ability to monitor their blood sugar. The test strips are used and then disposed of. The use of diabetic test strips to monitor your blood glucose level is the primary method for diabetic patients to check their blood sugar. Knowing your exact glucose levels throughout the day is vital for all diabetic patients.

What Makes Diabetic Test Strips so Expensive

It’s not necessarily the actual materials that make up the diabetic test strips that make them expensive. Its the research, development, and testing by the manufacturers that make them expensive (at least that’s what they say). Its also interesting that the price of most glucose monitors have decreased as of late. Hmm. You ever bought an
inkjet cartridge or a razor. Looks like they’re following the same trend. Give away the equipment and make money on the consumables.

Test Strip Accuracy

For accurate results, follow a specific routine. Remember to  code your meter with every new box of test strips. Be sure to use control solutions. This is the only way to know that your test strips are accurate. One test per box is usually sufficient unless you left the remaining strips exposed for a prolonged period of time. If you get an abnormally high or low test reading (a number that does not match your symptoms), check that your meter is coded properly; then do a control test before adjusting medications. Don’t reuse lancets; this will lead to calluses, infections and increased pain. – MamasHealth.com

Make sure that the test strips you purchase are compatible with your glucose meter. Strips sold by third parties or generic test strips (only available in Europe and Asia) are less expensive and should be used only with the meters for which they are recommended. Many times there are test strips being sold that have a discontinued monitor. Make sure to always check on the compatibility between monitors and test strips before you buy.

Diabetic News and Information Resource – This is a great resource we just found. Please take a look at Rick Mendosa’s diabetes information page above.

Comparing the Prices of Test Strips

Medicare Coverage for Diabetic Supplies

Useful Resources