Walmart Launches Money Saving Effort for People with Diabetes

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BENTONVILLE, Ark., July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Walmart today launched an effort to save diabetes patients in the U.S. up to $60 million annually with Walmart's exclusive ReliOn brand of diabetes products. ReliOn products provide an affordable, high-quality option to help the nearly 26 million individuals who live with diabetes in the U.S. better manage their disease.

In particular, Walmart introduced today the low-cost ReliOn Prime meter and blood sugar test strips. The retailer will offer the ReliOn Prime meter for $16.24 and ReliOn Prime blood sugar test strips at $9 for 50-ct strips, or 18 cents per test. People with diabetes use meters and blood sugar test strips daily to test their blood sugar levels and determine when they need to take insulin.

This is really good news. If I bought my strips monthly at the pharmacy, this is approaching my co-pay. And I have a good insurance plan. So for many, it may actually be cheaper to just buy the stripes directly without involving insurance.

Kudos to Walmart for doing this. I was going to hold my breath waiting to see if the medical industry was going to do this on their own, but that would probably not be a good idea.

are they already available ? I know they have strips 50 for $20 right now.

This demonstrates the kind profit margin those charging $1.00 per strip are making.

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it is shameful the way they take advantage, badmoont2. they must be rollin in it!!

They are currently listed for sale on their site.

This is awesome news!! My insurance limits me to 8 strips per day, but I test as much as 14 times per day (which means I have to buy the rest out-of-pocket). Having a cheaper alternative is excellent. I will definitely be getting some of these.

Note too that Walmart offers R and NPH insulins for just $25/vial. While most of us don't use NPH and R, it's good to know that, in a pinch, I can walk into any Walmart and, for $50, get what I need to at least stay alive. In most places, you can get R and NPH without a prescription.

Sounds good to me. I carry an xtra meter in my purse for when I go out and have to pay for thos strips since the macine is different from the strips I get from the insurance. Walmart proves machines and strips can be cheaper.

Indeed good news. Walmart just went up in my estimation.

It is also listed on the Relion site.

Sounds good! I'll have to go check it out. I'm currently using the kroger/target meter which is $36 for 100. If I could have $20 every two weeks. I'll definitely consider switching!

Here's an article from Diabetes Forecast Magazine that estimates the cost β€œTo manufacture the most advanced test strip is no more than 15 cents per strip.” The same article says "manufacturers reap a 70 to 80 percent profit on strips".

If you feel like a cash cow repeat after me ..... "Moo".

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I use relion syringes. They are as good as BD, very sharp. In PA we do not need an RX for syringes or mini pen needles. The syringes are 12.58/100 and they are graduated in 1/2u. The pen needles are 9.00/50. I get my test strips from my mailorder pharmacy. as I am on Medicare.

alrighty! I just got back from WallyWorld with my new meter and strips! and they are indeed only $9 for 50. As far as I can tell, they don't make boxes of 100 yet, but I can live with that.

From what the box says:
7 second result
.5 ul sample size (kinda high compared to the .25 or .3 on my previous meters)
250 test memory with date and time
14 and 30 day averages
download equipment available (not exactly sure how to get it though)

I saw one feature that I haven't seen yet. If you are rechecking because of a high, you can mark the 2nd reading by pressing a button so it won't be included in your averages! My a1c always seems to be lower than what my meter average suggests, so maybe this will fix that.

So the meter itself is nothing fancy, but I'll give up my meal averages if I'm saving $40 a month. I can use an excel sheet if I'm really curious.

I just did a test test... (is that right? a test to test the meter... so a test test.)

my kroger meter read 122 and this one read 107. I know that the kroger meter runs a bit high, so this one might be a bit more accurate. I'll have to test more.

So the conclusion is: Other than the amount of blood it takes, this meter is actually pretty good! and the $9 strips make up for it.

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Thanks for the info :)

Good review. I looked into this meter a bit. It is made by Arkray, probably using the Glucocard test strips. A big downside of the meter is that it seems to be a battery hog. The manual says that the battery (the common CR 2032) only lasts for 100 tests. My other meters last much longer with the same battery. I believe the Glucocard test strips are also available with a street price of about $14/50.

You are all over it, Tim! Thanks! We can tag Caleb's bgs on the OmniPod PDM as you describe above so they are not included in averages.

hmm.. I didn't read about the battery. That would seem kind of odd since most meters can go a year easily on a battery. I guess I'll find out for sure in about 2 weeks.

EDIT: i went through the manual. and found this. "When the battery power is low, your meter shows [a low battery sign] You have enough power for about 100 tests before you need to replace the battery."

I think they might be trying to say that you'll only have 100 tests once the low battery symbol comes on. But it's worded kind of awkwardly.

Ok we went to walmart and got one and I have checked with it twice at the same time I checked with my free style lite . Both times the walmart meter read 18-20 points higher then the freestyle . But I have never checked on 2 meters and got a close reading they have always been 10 - 20 points difference . Thanks for letting us know !! Mom said it is almost cheaper then her copay

Thanks Catlover for the info about syringes. Although I use a pump sometimes I have to inject if bs is over 250. Don't have to do it that often a box of syringes last me a long time but knowing where to get them cheaper is a the way I'm also on Medicare.