Accuchek spirit combo terrible!

My doc set me up on the spirit combo had 12 defectives in one year. Pumps would without wasrning die in the middle of the night, not communicate with meter, kill batterirs in one day. Now due to this have had to have 3 emetgency eye surgarys to fix hemorages in my eyes.The pump compamy even usps ground shipped me a replacement pump "realy" ground ship a critical medical device, when i had no backup and my insurance wouldnt pay for lantus as it showed i was on pump so I am without a pump for 5 weeks now, and no lantus so injection of humalog continuously throughout the day. And sugar levels are out of control.Roche had been a nightmare from day 1, and now I would like to get a minimed yet, insurance shows i still have a accuchek so wont approve me. So as of today will have had 5 eye lasers, 2 injections, and anothet in a mont thasnjs to roche (accuchek).

Wow Jason, so sorry to hear this. It is 180 degrees opposite of my experience over the last 8+ years.

Was your doctor willing to write you a lantus prescription?

Looks like there is a recall

Seeing this message about a recall, maybe your doctor could write a letter of medical necessity, citing the problems with the accuchek and a copy of the recall notice. Why did your doctor recommend that particular pump?

FWIW, the recall is for a small number of pumps in Australia.

Jason, 12 pumps in a year is just an amazing amount. Are you experiencing the same problem with each, or are they different ones?

Call the insurance company, explain the situation. Like explain that you are NOT using the pump, that you have had eye problems since using it, that you need the lantus OR you need Levemir to cover your insulin needs.

The only other alternative I can suggest is go to walmart and see if you can get their Relion (Novolin) N insulin, that's NPH . It's the oldest insulin you can probably use for longer acting(it's not like Lantus or Levemir though you have to do it twice a day I think? at least?) , and it's a pain in the neck according to most people...but worth a shot if nothing else? You have to have syringes as well but you might be able to get those as well if you don't already have those. It's $24.88 and apparently over the counter. You might be able to get NPH over the counter somewhere else too. Talk to your doctor about it too asap to see about how to dose for NPH but you CAN get it over the counter so do try that as it is long acting.

I'm so sorry this has happened to you. Have you asked your doctor if he has samples of Lantus? Many times the reps will give doctors samples that they can give to their patients.

Wow! That must be some kind of record for defective pumps. When the pumps are replaced do you get a meter replacement too? I can't help but wonder if there may be some problem with both components. Since you have not had success with your pumping since day one, I would consider going back to MDI and returning the pump entirely. 5 weeks of using fast acting only will leave a mark, and should not be necessary. Can your purchase NPH over the counter? That is the first thing you should do...and then reach out to your insurance and ask them if they would rather cover your necessary insulin prescription or the cost of complications. Good luck Jason.

Your doctor should call the insurance company. Not just write and Rx. He should call, explain that your pump failed, that you need the Lantus and that there will be a new Rx for a replacement pump. They pretty much have to follow Dr's orders. In fact, I would suggest he make the call in front of you. Calling to demand your Lantus etc is not "beyond the call of duty" for your doctor.

Okay. Not to be cheeky, Jason but suing the pump company should not be the priority. Getting some control over your condition should. Minimed is just another pump, and if your pump experience is "sugar levels are out of control.Roche had been a nightmare from day 1" I'd not jump into another pump. What does Roche say when you call about your failed pump/meter issues? Have they identified any cause at all?? Do you have some very high static/magnetic/electric/rf/ stuff around you all the time??? I would be trying to figure out why so many pumps are failing before I stuck another one on. And again, get some basal insulin however you can and get some improvement over your diabetes. Sorry if you might have to pay for some insulin but don't ya think it's worth it? I do!

I agree, with all the cellphones and wifi - you'd have to be in the middle of the sahara to function. Anyway, since your doctor pushed (it seems to me) y0ou to go with the AccuChek, he should be right in there fighting your insurance to cover the Lantus and to cover a new pump. If you get the refund, tell the insurance you'll sign the check over to them - once you get a replacement pump.


Not to diminish Jason's problems (in any way!), if the tech support is asking about wifi and cellphones, it is to try and determine why he was having a problem with the pump and meter communicating with each other. There are lots of things in the home/office that create RF interference.

Bluetooth and WiFi use the same spectrum, so it is only logical to try and understand what the pump user's environment is in order to provide a solution that works. FWIW, I have the Accu-Chek Combo and the meter along with WiFi and multiple Bluetooth devices and I have never had a problem. I am frequently in other places with WiFi and others using Bluetooth, again no problems.

There are other items that use the same spectrum including microwave ovens, wireless phones used for landline connections, some modern fluorescent bulbs, etc, etc.

In addition, Bluetooth signals can be blocked by the human body (over 60% water), so if you have the pump on a belt and you are wearing it on your back, it may not communicate with the meter directly in front of you, even though it is very close in distance. Yes, this has happened to me.

I found the battery issues a bit challenging at first. What has worked for me is the standard AA alkaline battery for the pump and AAA alkaline for the meter. I got much less time from the lithium batteries.

Speaking of batteries, I find the Energizer Ultimate (which is designed for high tech devices) to be the best. One thing I would try is to not use the remote. Since I prefer other meters over the remote that came with my ping, I just manually enter my bg and edit/go on from there. I got used to doing it manually anyway so it's no big whoops. I really am not that pleased with the Ping meter, and according to various consumer reports/comparisons, my Ultra mini is the most accurate on the market these days.


One of the most upsetting things to hear is the response from your insurance company regarding your basal insulin prescription. I am glad to hear that you are asking the doctor to get involved.

Have you escalated this problem beyond the initial "customer service representative"?

With my insurance, there is a Pharmacy Benefits Manager Company, do you have that as well, or is it one call for both your insurance issues and prescription needs?

Have you laid out the basic diabetic concepts to an insurance company supervisor? Sometimes (surprisingly!), they don't get that:

1 - You need insulin to survive
2 - Insulin can be either delivered by a pump using one type of insulin (short-acting) or
3 - Insulin can be delivered via multiple injections using TWO types of insulin, long-acting and short-acting
4 - Since pumps are mechanical devices that can fail, you require long-acting insulin AND you have a prescription for it, therefore your doctor has deemed it "medically necessary".

I don't pretend to know the ins and outs of any insurance plan (including mine), but I am having a hard time conceiving of a plan that flat out says they won't fill a prescription for a standard type of insulin. Escalating has almost always been helpful to me when I hit a roadblock.

I hope you can get these issues resolved ASAP.

In the Accu-Chek Combo system, all of the bolus calculation/wizardry is performed in the meter. So if you want that functionality as opposed to doing the I:C ratio and IOB in your head/calculator, then the meter is pretty integral.

The good news is the Aviva Combo meter has pretty decent accuracy. My own experience backs that up.

I found the Ultimates were poor performers, getting about three weeks usage in both the meter and the pump. With fairly standard alkalines by Energizer, Duracell and Ray-O-Vac, I get about 5 weeks on the meter and 8 weeks on the pump.

So with the AccuCheck Combo, none of the calculations are done on the pump. That's a bummer. I suggested the manual entering of bg and carbs so you could see if it was the pump not the meter and/or communcation between the devices. Hmmm

It's a pretty good system, just a slightly different philosophy from the Ping (and others).

There is no "manual entering of bg" anywhere in the Accu-Chek system. When you test, you are presented with a screen on the meter that gives you several inputs. One of them is for carbs, after you enter the carbs, the meter determines IOB, correction, if any (negative or positive), and shows you how much of a bolus it recommends. You may then readjust the number of carbs and/or change the amount of insulin.

Finally, you can change the bolus delivery method from a standard (all at once), extended (over time), or dual-wave.

Once you press the deliver button, you can see and feel the pump delivering the bolus, with a little "chik-chik" for each .1U delivered.

And that "editing" is done on the pump or meter? I often refer to my CGM to see if there is any trending in either direction going on. I further edit my dose based on those trends together with the IOB, pump recommendation etc. I also take into account what I'll be doing the next few hours. I admit it, I am a control freak and like to have (literally) hands on.

All of the above is done on the meter.

But, you can always deliver a bolus directly from the pump in any of the delivery methods described above. You can do everything on the pump that you can do on the meter, except use the bolus calculator.

To follow your method though, you could use the meter to see what the bolus calculator recommends, turn off the meter and then give yourself the bolus using the pump.

One other quick point, is once the meter BEGINS delivery of a bolus, the meter can be turned off, or lose its Bluetooth connection with the pump and the bolus will still be accurately delivered.

Yay! Glad you are getting what you need finally. Hopefully those three days fly by quickly!