What is the deal with Codes on test strips?

I’ve been testing my BG for 27 years, and I’ve never understood the real reason behind coding strips. I often forget to change my meter when I start a batch of strips with a new code, and it doesn’t SEEM to make any difference. Chances are it does…

Is coding their way of preventing counterfeiting? If so…is it so easy to counterfeit test strips that they have to code them? Is counterfeitting something I could do in my basement?

What am I missing?

The amount of glucose oxidase can vary from batch to batch according to the manufacturers, they utilize coding to indicate the amount of this agent in each batch, and when the meter is told the code, they become calibrated. I have read there can be variations of inaccuracy up to 43%. Hope this helps…

to add to Jon’s thought, it’s the active (or effective) oxidase on the finished strip can vary in a production batch, The quality folks at the manufacturer location tests and assigns a “code” to a batch so when you use them your meter reads the right (+/- 20% of reading) number (it’s a calibration). the ~50% error is if you have a incorrect code in your meter as compared with what the test strip vial says.

and hey Jim, if you can make test strips in your basement put a burger on the grill cause I am comin’ over =)

we the people should make test strips and sale and give them away to everybody who needs them! I bet it would be less expensive in the long run if they sold them for what they actually cost to make them.

Do you only have to code when you open a new box? A one time calibration?

I LOVE IT WHEN PEOPLE KNOW, AND SHARE THE SCIENCE!!! What we know is that when we are able to accurately see what our sugars are, we can move to make changes to bring them closer to spec. I have said many times that perhaps although our long term focus is a cure, we should compliment it with a short term focus on very accurate, non-invasive glucometers.

These are exciting times for diabetics technologically speaking, and I don’t think we are very far from something we could wear to constantly be in touch with the cause and effects of simple, and complex carbohydrates. Let’s move on that, if the demand is great enough (ie money) then it will come to fruition.

Love Always
The Anonymous Diabetic.

I just choose meters that don’t require coding!

all of today’s meters require coding. the “No code required” type meters have the code encrypted in the strip, which the meter reads, which codes the meter for you. =) am I picayune?