Does anyone know the actual cost to produce one test strip?
Probably less than a penny!!! I am sure they are make tons of money. I get 200 one touch ultra test strips for $10.00/month. However I am just guessing at the cost.
I would also really like to know the answer to you question - I imagine it is very little. My boyfriend uses the auto discs which we pay the retail price for with no insurance. $100 for 100 strips - this is outrageous considering that most with no insurance are probably in a lower income bracket (as we are). If the profit margin is what I imagine it might be - I find it utterly vile, criminal even that these manufacturers would be able to rob people blind for a life or death product.
I know this conversation and question came up in the chat room last night. I just have to say that I ran out of test strips & had to buy a box out of pocket (my prescription can’t be refilled yet) today. $46.83 for 50 test strips. That’s nearly $1 per test. You know there’s no way it costs that much to produce those tiny little things.
I completly agree with you. This is the topic that I have been pissed off about for a long time now. When I get into discussions with people about what I want to do for diabetics this is exactly what I want to raise awareness for. Like everyone else I would love to find a cure, but for right now I want to get the costs of diabetic supplies lowered. I am trying to start some fundraising events in Asheville, NC to try and get to the root of the problem, and find some well qualified people to work with to try and really find a solution to this problem. If anyone knows anyone that I could talk to please let me know. I will keep fighting for this until we find an answer to this big problem.
yikes that is an awesome price! you must have some fantastic insurance!
This is sort of a tough one, there really isn’t any easily accessible information on the actual manufacturing costs. And while I despise the high prices and I look forward to the day when strips are free or virtually free, we have to remember all of the costs that go into the strips: research, development, advertising, marketing, packaging, distribution, education materials, 24 hour customer support lines, paying the pharmacist and the stock clerk who put the strip on the shelf, etc.
What we need to hope for is not a reduction in the cost of the strips (that’s not going to happen), but better health coverage to ensure that everyone who needs these strips will have access to them, regardless of ability to pay. With continual improvements in technology, there will always be some fancier, proprietary, more accurate strip to buy.
If any one does find actual numbers, however, I would be very interested to see them…
I really do understand that there is alot of costs that go into diabetes and the supplies. I just feel that in any life or death situation that is when they decide to stick it to people. I have a professor whose mom got diagnosed with lung cancer a year ago. The medicine that she has to take to keep herself alive is $7,000 a month. That is ridiculus, I feel that when it comes to a life or death medication they know that they can charge pretty much as much as they want to because people will keep buying it to live. How can a medicine cost $5.00 a bottle with the right insurance to just make ourselves feel better when we are sick and any life or death medication cost us our entire savings account. People with diabetes have to buy test strips to keep themselves alive and as long as people keep having diabetes they know that they can keep sticking to people. We need to do something to make sure that the money that people are donating are going towards the right thing. A cure would be ideal but until then we have got to do something to help cover diabetics better. I am tired of the person that I love being taken advantage of everyday.
The simple answer is that something that is used to keep you alive is significantly more complex than something you would take for a headache. I absolutely hate paying the amount I do to keep myself healthy and alive, don’t get me wrong and I also think that the companies that make these products are making a nice big profit. But, so are the makers of aspirin, and their product is relatively cheap. The cost of making medicines and supplies for diabetics is always increasing, because it is always changing. New, “better” insulins and shiny, faster glucometers with fancy new features cost money to make and develop. Aspirin hasn’t changed in decades (in any meaningful way). Technically you’re being overcharged for an aspirin the same way you are for test strips.
It is my honest belief that the companies are not intentionally charging people with chronic illness more just because they can. If the companies don’t make a profit, they have no incentive to innovate and we all lose. What we need are not cheaper supplies, but more comprehensive, universal coverage, whether its insurance or something else.
I think that we are talking about a few different things here.
Some people are mentioning how much it costs them to get their strips as a co-pay. Don’t forget that manufacturers get the rest of the money from your insurance company. Yes, it might cost you $10-$20 a month, but look at your paper that you get with your medications and you will see what the “actual” amount paid for the strips is.
I believe there is data available somewhere (at the manufacturing facility perhaps or the main office) on the actual costs. I work for a semiconductor company and I could tell exactly what it costs to make a single microprocessor chip! That data must exist, because that’s how we measure our costs of production here.
I don’t have insurance, therefore I pay FULL price, out of my own pocket for ALL my diabetes meds and supplies, doc visits and lab tests. Test strips are the MOST costly of all of it. I probably spend less than $50 a month on all my meds and other supplies. That’s for Metformin, Lisinopril, Lovastatin, Novolin N, Novolin R, Alcohol Swabs, Syringes and Glucose Tabs. Doc visit is about $67 every 4 months or so, and labs about $300 to $350 every 4 months or so. Test strips, IF I test as I should, and IF I can afford it … I spend $200 -$ 300 a month for retail, or about 1/2 that if I am able to buy them through eBay! What I find the most appalling is that for most of the Name Brand meds, if you qualify financially [and have no insurance, at least with most of the places], you can get your meds for free, or at least a reduced cost. Yet for test strips, there is absolutely NO help!! No programs, no nothing!! Why?? They’re making a HUGE profit at OUR expense. I feel like I’m being taken advantage of, because of my disease. It’s almost like blood money! [yes, pun intended!]
Has anybody tried Hocks online pharmacy for test strips? They seem remarkably cheap. At the moment I’m paying $88 for a box of a hundred Freestyle strips thanks to my insurance’s network price cap, whereas their price for a hundred count is $62 – and that $26 every two weeks adds up fast! I’m still a bit leery of ordering medical supplies online (silly, I buy books from Amazon frequently) and would appreciate some reassurance.
Turns out, it’s about eight to twelve cents!
Click here for Amy’s great site and post talking about it.
Turns out, it’s about 8-12 cents.