Vindication Shopping!

So I have been nursing an ingrown toenail for four days. Yesterday it became clear that I was losing the battle against infection, so I took myself to the ER (walk-in clinics were closed) and got a prescription for antibiotics and a tetanus shot. Well, today I went to fill my prescription. I have extended medical now for the first time since I was diagnosed (I qualified with Assura through work). The pharmacy was busy and I found myself looking at the glucose test meters and wondered which brand made the least expensive strips. When I found them on the wall behind the counter I noticed the “Free meter with purchase of 100 test strips” sign and asked to see it.

The meter is the True2go compact meter. It is so small that it clips right onto the lid of your test strip container. The meter is basic (about the same as the OneTouch Ultra Mini I was already using) but it came with a battery, 10 lancets and a lancing pen, 50 TEST STRIPS, log book and case. So after I decided to buy it, the pharmacist pulled 2 manufacturer coupons from the box. These coupons made not only the test strips I needed to get the meter FREE, but it made the next 100 free as well. Today I got a week of antibiotics, 250 test strips and a brand new meter for less than $9. All I paid for were my pills. I could feasibly go to the pharmacy every day until the sale ends and get free meters and strips EVERY DAY.

This was at London Drugs in Canada (BC). They almost always have meters free with the purchase of test strips. I found myself wondering why I wasn’t taking advantage of this more. I may not need a new meter every week but there are diabetics out there who do need them. A year ago what I got today would have cost me almost $400 without the coupons.

True2go is a new meter brand made by Home Diagnostics Inc. They are only a few years old and are trying to create a meter that can compete with the higher prices offered by Bayer, OneTouch and iTest, etc. If you need a new meter, if you can’t afford strips, I urge you to check you options at a London Drugs pharmacy.

Furthermore, I plan to do this more often and donate my free meters to those in need. I’ve been there myself. Will you do the same?

Consider yourselves blessed in Canada and US! In the UK there is very little for sale in the pharmacies for diabetics and living aids. One or two meters at the very most and it is depressing.

I went to San Francisco and heard that there was lots of things for diabetics to help with their living including frio wallets etc and I was like - obsessed - wanting to go into every Walmart etc! I think my sister must have thought I was on another planet!

We are blessed in some ways. We have a lot for diabetes treatment- almost every pharmacy here has an aisle or section dedicated to diabetes care. However, so much of what they gave is breathtakingly expensive. This is the first time I’ve owned a meter that I didn’t get from the hospital. That said, it is still better than having limited choices and no access to akternatives. That is one of the reasons I am so into the idea if donating the free meters. As long as you can get strips, someone could send it almost anywhere c/o the recipient.

In the U.S., “store brand” (almost “generic” but not quite) test strips and meters have been the cheapest option for at least a couple years now.

The meter price is a complete red herring. The cost is totally dominated by the cost per strip.

We don’t have store brand meters here. That’s upsettthat they make up for a cheaper meter with more expensive Strips.