Generic test strips

My cost for three months of contour next strips is going to be over $500. Can I get cheaper no name strips that would be compatible? Would I need a prescription?

How many strips is that? Are you getting 1,250 strips?

Because without a prescription and without insurance, you can buy them for about 35-40 cents per strip!

That’s the problem with insurance stuff!

Don’t get a different strip. Contour Next strips are the absolute best. The most accurate and consistent strip available. Just buy them yourself and they are pretty affordable.

Contour test strips are 50 cents apiece online. If you’re using 10 strips per day, you will probably be happier spending money on a cgm and saving your fingers.



The prices vary from time-to-time, but as of today they are 38 cents at both Amazon and Walmart. On eBay they are even cheaper.

A CGM is a great thing to have. So is a BG meter. But using both is really the best way to go. They compliment each other very well.

A crappy BG meter is worthless. Some of them are just random number generators.


Get them off ebay. Been doing for years. 30 to 35 bucks for 100. Contour next. Never a date or quality problem.


So they can be purchased without a prescription? eBay I understand. Or Facebook marketplace.

Yes for sure

Test strips are OTC and, for those in the US, are tax deductible health care expenses if you take insulin (and probably other other things to treat diabetes) regardless of whether you use a prescription (an option in most places) or not.

I’m currently paying $1.0725/test strip through my insurance company. This will continue until I have paid $6900 this year for stuff my insurance company covers, when the insurance will kick in. Since I invariably reach that limit around this time of year I just get them through my insurance; they are about 1/3 the price if I buy them myself (cf @Eric2 and others), but that would just be throwing money away, or spending money for the convenience of getting more than 100 at once and having them delivered. I pay three times the price now and haven’t paid a single dime more at the end of the year.

Different test strips read different; there were systematic differences in the BG readings between the Contour Next One strips I use today and the Abbott FreeStyle test strips I used to use. That may cause you to choose one brand over another.

Apart from that the standards are the same. The “ReliOn” test strips that I can get from WalMart run at around USD0.5/strip and, when I tested them seemed perfectly fine. You can just walk in, pick them up off the shelf, and check out. I’m sure if my doc prescribed them they would cost a whole lot more, but I’d still might them because my health costs $6,900 out-of-my-pocket every year regardless.

The actual price has remained fairly consistent (around USD 0.5/strip). In 2006 I paid $331.08 to “American Diabetes Wholesale” for 600 “Ascensia Microfill” (Contour) test strips. I’ve paid a little less for non-name-brand strips, but not much. I might pay less on eBay and I might get short dated strips or I might not.

So, in fact (contrary to my own expectations) Amazon has actually managed to reduce the price a bit.

Back in 2007 I paid $1/strip to a local pharmacy because I had run out of test strips and I panicked, for good reason; being a T1D without a test strip is like being a fighter pilot without a parachute. Trusting a CGM is like trusting the altimeter to say you are at 5000ft when the mountain ahead tops out at 3572ft; never be without a test strip.

For buying contour Next without insurance, look for OTC/no Rx strips. Contour Next is marketed with an odd ball number of strips that doesn’t match quantities for insurance. Those are considerably less expensive per strip than what strips bought with insurance cost.

CGM with few strips for calibration/verification should be less than $500 per month and may help blood glucose control.

Yes. But if you want to use a discount program (like GoodRx) you need an Rx. That may be because there are people out there who get lots of strips from their insurance and then sell them.

That’s because the prescription price is so inflated that third parties can take a cut and still reduce the price. It’s not about us and all the evil we do.