Accu-Chek Accuracy Alert! These strips should be recalled!

Hi all. I recently changed insurance, and I had to switch away from my Freestyle Lite meters. I now am using an Accu-Chek Aviva and Aviva Nano. I have been communicating with AccuChek over an issue I am having with extremely high deviation between the AccuChek and my Freestyle and OneTouch meters.

So far, I have tested 2 AccuChek Avivas and an Aviva nano, and 2 different coding chip batches. The typical Deviation is 40 MG DL or 2.2 MMOL. Using Freestyle Control Solution, the OneTouch and Freestyles read exactly 106 every time. All 3 aviva meters read between 60 and 70. The same deviation is true with a blood sample. Testing from the same drop of blood yields the same 40 mg/dl deviation.

In response, Accu-Chek customer service, which I must admit is excellent 2day fedexed me another Aviva Meter, a 2-level control solution set (which is not included with accu-chek meters), and a box of 50 strips with a new code chip for the batch. Testing from the same drop of blood with the new meter and new strips I got a whopping 61 mg/dl deviation under the freestyle reading. I was deeply upset by this but proceeded with a more scientific approach.

First I tried the freestyle 106 test solution from my freestyle in the aviva. It consistently read 66 over 3 tests. I then ran the Aviva control solution. Accu-Chek uses 2 different control solutions. The level 1 control is between 25-55. The level 2 is 255-345. You can collect this information from the side of the bottles the strips come in. Every time I ran the control test it was in the acceptable range, but look at the accepted deviation! A 90 MG/DL deviation allowed at anything over 255 is mildly acceptable. Hopefully most of us aren't running that high all of the time, but accuracy in the highs can prove more crucial if insulin needs to be administered - especially with a pump.

That still leaves an unacceptable Level 1 control. How many of us have hit 25 without a hospital visit? Give me a break, testing numbers this low as a control is simply pointless. Nobody is checking their blood at 55! They are rushing for a glucose supply because they feel like total crap. Accu-Chek tests outside of the normal glucose range because these strips are so inaccurate! You can't customize the test for the meter to make it passable, thats just ridiculous.

I blasted the customer service rep over this, explaining that a 60mg/dl inaccuracy is the difference between life and death.

But perhaps there is a silver lining here. If you add 40 mg/dl or 2.2mmol to each reading, the strips get surprisingly accurate. I'm not advocating that people start blindly doing this conversion on their strips. Every batch and code are different, but I found that this conversion was correct for both of the batches I tried.

Whats even more bizarre is the consistency of the inaccuracy. Even going into the 300 range one night, I found that the 40 mg/dl deviation was spot on. I'm not sure about the lows. God forbid i my blood sugar is 60, this thing may read 0.0.

Upon the advice of accu-chek customer service I am going to have labwork done and compare the onetouch, freestyle, and accu-chek meters with those results. I will let everyone know what my results are.

I’ve never had a problem with any of my Avivas. I always test my blood in the car immediately after having my lab work and make a note to compare it to the lab results. It’s never more than 5 points difference.

I have started using Aviva Nano this last week (I used freestyle before this!) and my results are always higher than with Freestyle(5-34mg /dl variation so far!). Since it seems to be such a good device, I wonder if I should keep it or change back to freestyle! It is driving me nuts this difference, especially during hypos since the Aviva always reads normal or almost normal glucose levels! I am now wondering what values I should take into consideration and feeling extremely confused!!! Have you come to any conclusions so far?!

I used Accu-chek with very good reliability, and always found it one of the better meters (along with One Touch that I now use with my Ping). I've also heard that from others. But we're all different, or perhaps there were a batch or model made that don't have the same reliability. I have checked it with another meter but unless there are significant problems, I decided that for me, comparing one meter to another on a regular basis is a way to drive myself nuts, so I gave away the other meter. And I do check my blood sugar at 55 rather than "running for the glucose". I can usually recognize lows in the 50s but I don't find them "feeling like total crap". I reserve that judgement and that action (glucose before testing) for numbers in the 40s and 30s.

I'm glad AccuChek is being responsive and I hope you find a meter you feel comfortable with.

I want to write a retraction to this post. I have found that the accu-chek readings are much closer to being accurate than the freestyle strips. All other brands for example freestyle and one touch skew the results of medical trials by making it appear that blood sugars are higher than they actually are.

The user believes that the blood glucose levels are high, and thus administers more insulin. The unfortunate thing about A1c readings is that they do not reflect overall health. If your blood sugar is 300 half the time and 50 the other half, your A1c could reflect that you are reasonably healthy which of course is not true. In medical trials however the goal is not the patient's health, it is simply lowest possible A1c number which matters.

My personal A1c has improved after switching to accu-chek because I now have a better idea of what my readings are, and have less overeating due to nocturnal lows. In fact my nocturnal low problems have almost completely disappeared.

So to summarize: The Accu-Chek strips are the most accurate strips on the market, and I now use them exclusively. They are also made in USA and have great customer service who were willing to send me additional meters and strips to test.

They also have some really nice meters in europe that can be imported to the USA such as the Aviva Nano (low cost) and Aviva Expert (high feature).

One final note: If you read the fine print on all brands of strips, you find that as the blood sugar rises, the margin of error increases. When the baseline of measurement is raised (like it is on the freestyle and onetouch) it means that the range of results is narrower.This is just another example of said companies working the system. It makes their results appear more consistent because the spectrum of readings is smaller.

I read your retraction and am glad you finally realized that the Accu-chek was the better meter. I have been using Accu-chek Aviva and Compact for many years and find it to be very accurate as far as meters go. I was once given a Freestyle meter and compared it to Accu-chek and found it not as accurate as accurate. Although I'm finally giving up my Accu-cheks for Nova Max which which I compared and found it to be comparable.

I agree with you about checking all the time (I am kind of a freak about that!)! I even check when I'm 30s-40s (which, fortunatelly doen't happen a lot!) and I believe I am getting used to the Aviva! I like the fact that I can see a graphic on my computer of what has has been going on! I thank you all for helping me with your personal experience!!! ;)