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Free test strips

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by ronjo94, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. ronjo94

    ronjo94 · Member

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    Hi all. Once again they are trying to stop prescription test strips for those of us unable to afford these for ourselves - here's a copy of the letter I've just received.

    "Dear Mr Jones

    We have recently conducted an audit of blood glucose testing strips in view of current
    clinical evidence and guidelines. As a result of which we have decided to remove blood
    glucose testing strips prescriptions from the repeats of certain category of diabetes patients
    which are as follows:

    1. Diet only controlled diabetes
    1. Diabetes controlled on diet and Metformin
    2. Diabetes controlled on Metformin and/or Pioglitazone ( Actos) or Rosiglitazone
    The reason for doing this is that there is no evidence that routine blood monitoring at home
    improves diabetic control or leads to change in medications. Further it can also increase
    anxiety among patients who are testing themselves unnecessarily. Also in the above
    categories of patients there is no risk of hypoglycaemia-which is low blood sugar as the
    above drugs don't cause it.

    For the above category of patients we would advise that we issue a single box of blood
    testing strips for the year. Patients should check their blood sugar only when they are
    unwell with infection or other illnesses but refrain from doing routine monitoring. We aim to
    look after their monitoring by doing the tests at the surgery which gives us a better idea of
    long-term diabetic control on a six monthly or yearly schedule.

    If you have any further questions or concerns please don't hesitate to speak to you GP via a
    telephone surgery appointment."

    By allowing only 50 strips per year (1 per week) you are taking pot luck as to what your actual blood sugars are. You could take a fasting reading which in my case would suggest that my sugars are high as I always get a fasting reading between 8 and 9. This I know is normal for me as my levels mid morning usually drop to between 5.6 and 7. But this would be the only reading for 1 week and could be totally misleading for the rest of the week. The same would be true if I took a reading at some other time and got high of 10. This could just be a blip that would send me to my GP un-necessary. When will these idiots running the NHS realise the risk's that they are putting us too. They cover themselves suggesting that we could have testing done at the surgery but, the amount of time spent trying to get an appointment and then sit wasting more time in the waiting room is beyond a joke
     
  2. Unbeliever

    Unbeliever · Well-Known Member

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    They seem to mean the HBA1Cs or reviews rather than testing on demand . I always love the bit about self-testing causing anxiety etc.

    Surely they ought to be aware that it is good for patients to feel hey have control over theur own condition? They do , of course but choose o ignore it.

    I am always asked .as most of us are, at my annual review , whether i am depressed by my condiion.
    I always say that I am not depressed by the ondition but by the treatment of the condition - or of the reatment of me as a patient with he condition.

    Come her, go there , do his or that just to tick the boxes etc.

    When I go to my hospital appointments I find hat the nurses have all been rained to work with the paients and to treat them as human beings . OK some will fall short of the ideal bu at leas hey KNOW what they ought to do.

    Unfortunately the money seems to have run out at a certain level and HCA's and recepionoosts
    must still be waiting for a place on a course.

    I have had all the rubbish above spoued at me by recently qualified GPs. It must be one of he alernatives in the muli-choice questions they have in their finals now.

    Test strips are expensive. In the past hey were given out willy nilly and people were not aught he best use of them.

    To go from one extreme o anoher and throw the aby out with the bah water is bound to be counter producive.

    I do not underastand how they can reconcile his "nayig" approach , leave it all to us 2 with their previously stated aims of ivolvig patients in their care ad encouraging hem to take resposibility for their own health.

    Just as aside my Pracice have just iformed me that my aual review is due. The last one was i June 2011. Perhaps some maths courses might be of use?
     
  3. xyzzy

    xyzzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    Makes me really really angry. It's all just excuses to save money.
     
  4. Mervyn

    Mervyn · Well-Known Member

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    If I had been able to have free meter/test strip prescriptions then I would have been able to keep a close eye on my blood glucose levels.

    It was only because I had to go into Hospital for an operation,I found my levels were high and then pestering my GP for a HB1AC before my yearly one. I was then subsequently put onto Insulin!!
    My Diabetes is still poorly controlled!

    What I am trying to say is that if I had a meter and strips then I would have been warned and maybe I would not have needed to go onto Insulin.

    Needless to say I now get free test strips.
     
  5. floridagal

    floridagal · Member

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    Makes me so mad too. Everyone talks about prevention being better than cure and yet they want to take away our ability to do this :evil:
     
  6. Hobs

    Hobs Type 2 · Master

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    Hang on a cotton picking minute there :evil: ... 1 pot of 50 per year will have half the contents defined as unusuable, as once open, mine must be used within 6 months and IF any left, discarded!!
    By that simple instruction 2 x 50 minimum would be required :thumbup:
     
  7. angieG

    angieG Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    "I am always asked .as most of us are, at my annual review , whether i am depressed by my condiion.
    I always say that I am not depressed by the ondition but by the treatment of the condition - or of the reatment of me as a patient with he condition."

    If this is going to be the case, maybe when the above question arises in the annual reviews we should ALL say yes we are depressed and feel like committing suicide as we have no idea what our sugars are doing for 99% of the year and can we therefore be referred for counselling as we are a danger to ourselves? This would surely put the costs back up again!! Just a thought.
    When we feel a bit iffy.....ie: the times when we would normally check our levels just in case, maybe we should book an emergency appointment to get them tested as we don't have access to test strips and feel unwell.....doctors would soon get fed up with time wasters I think.

    I know it's a bit extreme but this is our health they are toying with just to meet budgets!! :evil:

    Regards
    Angie
     
  8. Sirzy

    Sirzy Other · Well-Known Member

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    Grrrrr!! This issue makes me so angry :evil: Particularly as this new research has just been published (shown in the news section on this site), which found, unsuprisingly, that diabetic complications are the greatest health cost to the NHS when treating diabetics, no sh*t sherlock!! If they'd just prescribe test strips to everyone then they'd avoid these expensive treatments for a lot longer if at all!

    The NHS is a health service, yet it seems to be all down to money with no thought to health sometimes. I heard that the latest prostate cancer drug has been denied patients by NICE on the basis of it being too expensive...it's just not right :(
     
  9. benedict

    benedict · Well-Known Member
    Administrator

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    Hi Ronjo

    I'm really sorry to hear this. The NICE guidelines state that access to testing supplies should be agreed on a case by case basis so you have some grounds to challenge this.

    I would be inclined to challenge this ruling, if I were you, and demonstrate to the doctor how testing your blood glucose has been essential for maintaining your diabetes control.

    I wonder what the doctors would make of the recent report from the London School of Economics?
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/news/2012...eatest-health-cost-for-diabetes-93725210.html

    Germany spends more on out-patient care, including testing supplies, and consequently their costs for treating complications per patient are significantly lower than the UK's. Coincidence?

    Here's the full report
    http://www2.lse.ac.uk/LSEHealthAndSocialCare/research/LSEHealth/MTRG/ResearchReportOnDiabetes.aspx

    Please also sign our petition against this practice and encourage as many other people to do so
    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20537

    Benedict
     
  10. Sid Bonkers

    Sid Bonkers Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Not only that but all the strips I get do not have a shelf life of a year and if they run out of date they simply stop working as the chip tells the meter not to accept it, the box I am currently using runs out in Sept 2012 so giving one box a year is about as useful as a chocolate fire guard.
     
  11. MaryJ

    MaryJ · Well-Known Member

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    ronjo

    Have you got stats on how your levels have come down?

    How your testing has made you change your eating habits for the better?

    A detailed discussion with the GP on your individual circumstances SHOULD involve a change of heart, whether it does is another matter.

    I found showing my GP i was serious about making changes and the testing was paramount in that. His point was the NHS spend more each year on testing rather than treating diabetes and some patients think testing is treating. Show them that's not you!

    Good luck

    Mary x
     
  12. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    I have been buying strips for several years, because my GP practice won't prescribe them for me. I asked in their dispensary and found it was 3 years since I'd last had them. So I even have to fight to get 1 box per year.
    Of course it's all down to money. Yet I only ever see the doctor, when I'm ordered in. I do see the nurse twice yearly, because I ask to see he4r. I'm officially only supposed to have an annual review.
    they don't need to see me as a well-controlled diabetic and "the fittest the doctor has ever seen"
    I wonder why I'm so fit!
    Hana
    PS
    I buy strips direct from Abbott Diabetes Care at about 2/3 the price from a retail pharmacy.
    I still ration myself to about 1 per day, so a pack lasts near 2 months.
     
  13. ronjo94

    ronjo94 · Member

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    Hi all. Further to my original post, I would add that this was posted as an advice. My own situation is that I have an excellent Dr who recognises my situation. I use 4 boxes of strips (200) not only watch my diet closely, I actively am trying new diets all the time. This to enable me not only to keep my sugar levels under control but also to give me a better life (I love good food) and this can only be done by monitoring. We all respond differently to medication and diets and we, and only we, can determine what is best for us.
     
  14. KeithnrBath

    KeithnrBath · Member

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    i agree that direct from Abbot is best
    Given up trying to get them from GP
    Part of the problem is the greedy crooks who sell their strips on ebay

    Stop this and we may have a chance
     
  15. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Not all of us are greedy crooks :shock: - I have just sold some strips on ebay because I had to get a new meter - I buy my own strips even though I am on hypo inducing drugs my PCT won't fund me more than 4 pots a year (they use the arguement that I don't drive so don't need to test so often :roll: )- I bought the strips myself from a chemist - so they are mine to sell - there isn't really that many for sale on ebay at any one time so I doubt it would make much difference to GP's and PCT changing their policies.
     
  16. Cynthia6

    Cynthia6 · Member

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    I was only told I was a diabetic in May last year and was diet controlled till December when I was put on metformin but my doctor would not give me a testing kit I went on an expert diabetes course for 6 weeks and was told to ask the doctor for a testing kit and was given on but she will only give me the strips for 6 weeks then she won't give me anymore my reading is never lower than 8, I went on the bayer website and entered a competition to win a testing kit and although I did not win they sent me a kit anyway, but if the doctor stops providing the strips I will not be able to afford them as I am a disabled pensioner
     
  17. gaz1971

    gaz1971 · Well-Known Member

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    When people have to have treatment for the problems from having high blood sugar, due to them being unable to do checks at home, and as a result of these problems they are signing on benefits as they cant work, they will soon see the wrong in their decision
     
  18. KeithnrBath

    KeithnrBath · Member

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    My apologies

    probably an overstatement but they do appear and the GPs use this as an excuse whether it is valid or not.

    good luck with the final 28lbs

    K
     
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