Results of my very scientific test strip experiment. :)

SO . . . Today we received our 400 new strips from Abbott, helpfully in white boxes so we don't get them confused with our old strips.

So with my new control solution in hand I tested every vial of strips we own (23 in all) - in both the Flash meter (same meter as Omnipod but my son has that with him at school) and the Freestyle Lite meter (which is NOT recommended, but I was curious.) In my definition, strips should be very close to 95 with control solution. So although all my strips (new and old) were "in range" in all the meters (76-114) I'm using a stricter definition of "accurate."

WITHOUT EXCEPTION this is what I found:

Any strips expiring before 11/2014, which for me included 8 vials from four different lots:
- Tested somewhat low (87-91) in the Lite
- Tested lower (78-87) in the Flash
- WERE ACCURATE (92-98) with code 18 in the Flash

All other old strips expiring 11/2014, six vials, one lot number
- Tested very slightly high (96-101) in the Lite
- Tested low in the Flash
- WERE ACCURATE (89-99) with code 17 in the Flash

- High in the Lite (100+)
- Accurate in the Flash with code 16 (94-97)

My conclusion is that I'm not tossing any of these strips. I'm just going to do what so many of you have already been doing and I've been stubborn about - and change the code based on the vial. With over 50 tests done on these strips I'm pretty confident in my results. :) Hope this info might help anyone who's as obsessive as I am . . . if you exist. :)

This is very helpful information Natasha. Thanks for doing all this work and sharing.

Thanks for that - very helpful indeed! I am glad to know they are in white boxes, because I was trying to figure out how to not get these mixed up. We're supposed to get our new ones today.

Thanks, Natasha! Very helpful.

That sounds like good news. And also makes it sound like the "bad" strips may only have been reading a little on the low side, not like they'd read 110 when we are actually at 300? And also that it is a relatively recent problem, i.e., I haven't been having erroneously low b/s tests since I got my new PDM however many months ago?

I am having this panic attack that there have been months of high blood sugars I didn't realize happened, but if we are talking that I was on average 10 or 15 points higher than I though... eh, I don't like it, but no use crying over spilled milk and all that. And maybe it is only a very recent thing affecting the last few weeks, I hope.

It used to be that I always *knew* pretty much what my a1c was going to be before I got it done, but the last 2 or 3 have been surprisingly high, like 6.3 instead of the 5.8 or 5.9 I expected to get. I chalked that up to the fact that since on omnipod (and yes, I do still love my omnipod!) I have had sooooo many fewer lows. Hoping it's not because of this issue.

I just got my replacement strips. They were in the same boxes as the old ones. The expiration date is Feb 2015.

I meant to say - the old yellow boxes, like normal.

The replacements are coming in both colors, the white and blue are the ones that some mail order places send, and what we have always gotten. The yellow are the made for retail boxes. Almost everyone on the FB group talking about this got a different colored box than they were used to getting, so thought that they had changed the boxes. Most people are getting dates beyond Feb 2015, so for a few minutes there we thought we were shipped bad strips. What a mess! They confirmed that the lot 1371831 is a good lot number.

The strips were reading low, not high. That could very well explain why your A1c was higher than usual. The test strips are telling you that you are in range when you are actually higher. And it is telling you that you are low, and you are treating a perfectly fine in range number. People have been complaining about this issue for a long time.

Yup, that's my lot number too. 1371831, Feb 2015. Thanks! What facebook group?

Omnipod users group, it is new I think. It's blowing up, so I haven't gotten to read anything but the recall stuff. It's a closed group, but you just request to be allowed in.

400 new test strips just arrived. Lot 1454120, exp 2015/08. I just tested 3 new strips. In my Freestyle Lite (only other meter I have), I read 155. In Omni PDM meter coded to 17, I read 162. In the same Omni PDM coded to 16, I read 146. All blood samples from the same finger. I tested the old strips and got 140 on Freestyle Lite, 141 on Omni coded to 17, and 129 on Omni coded to 16. Seems to me that old strips read best when Omni coded to 17 and new strips coded to 16. Is this what the rest of you see?
I have not been able to find control solution here locally yet, but I will keep looking.

You should never have to buy control solution. It's bad enough we have to waste strips to use it. Call Abbott and get some,you can request to get low, reg and high. Most people don't realize that is available.

When you say a long time how long do you mean? Does anyone know? Ugh. I hate to think that for like six months...

At least that long, some people have been saying this for a couple of years. The meter in the PDM is old technology.

Yes, I have found that the PDM reads best with old strips on code 17. YDMV. Abbott will send you a Freestyle Freedom meter and control solution for free, if you call and ask.

Jack's mom, I never liked the idea of changing the code, and my testing tonight has shown the old and new strips that I have tested are the exact same! So if I had coded the meter differently, it would have been less accurate. I tested the old and new twice, with two different control solutions. Got almost identical results twice without changing codes.

My friend says she requested the different control solutions on Friday and they refused.

No I agree, I don’t like changing the code either. Who knows if any of it is right, and of course things can always change.

The rep today actually offered me a new meter and control solution. I know of other people who got some, and others that didn’t. It’s always the person you get, but figured if people knew that was an option then they could keep asking or escalate.

Ah, interesting. I've never seen the white boxes so it was a surprise.

My friend called the regular Abbott line and was able to get a meter sent out after they refused to do so on the recall line. They certainly don't know what they are doing over there.