Healthcare and medical research firm Abbott Laboratories have announced the recall of around 360 million blood sugar testing strips used by diabetics to monitor their glucose levels . There are worries that the testing strips have been giving falsely low readings, which could result in health risks.
The announcement, by Abbott and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), concerns six different diabetes testing strip brands that are distributed in the US and Puerto Rico. Abbott say their blood glucose monitors are not affected by this issue.
Abbott has said they will replace recalled strips for free, which could cost them around USD20 million, and follows the withdrawal last year of around 5 million containers of Similac baby formula due to possible contamination by beetle parts or larvae. The firm also had to recall the diet drug Meridia last year, because of a link to an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes .
The recall centres around the inability of some of the strips to absorb sufficient blood, which could lead diabetes patients to attempt to increase their blood sugar levels unnecessarily, or not treat elevated blood sugar due to a false, low reading. It is also thought that certain strips that have been exposed to warm weather or kept in storage for a long time may be more likely to give a misleading reading.

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