Affordable Glucose TestingThe American Diabetes Association reports that almost 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Monitoring blood glucose levels is crucial for diabetic people as it can help avoid serious complications of the disease. Helping to address the rising cost of insurance premiums and employee medical claims in the United States, Abbott, a global healthcare company has developed a cost-effective glucose testing solution. Its FDA-cleared blood glucose meter, the FreeStyle Precision Neo Blood Glucose Monitoring System™ is now available at a cost of between $14-$17 USD for 25 strips and a one-time fee for the meter, which ranges from $22-$28 USD.

According to a study published in Diabetes Care, in the past 2 decades, managing diabetes has become more expensive, mostly due to the higher spending on drugs. It is reported that spending has grown because people with diabetes are more frequently using health services, causing healthcare costs to increase.

Evaluating the National Data From 1987 to 2011, the study highlighted that patients with diabetes used:

• 55% of the additional spending for prescription medications
• 24% for inpatient visits
• 15% for outpatient visits
• 6% for ED visits and other expenses.

Abbott’s OTC Glucometer is the first system from Abbott’s FreeStyle family of products available over the counter with preferred co-pay pricing, giving patients the option to pay out of pocket to obtain their monitor and test strips. This super slim, lightweight meter delivers accurate results from a small blood sample of 0.6 µL, within 5 seconds. Its features include:

• Easy to read, large, high contrast display
• No coding required
• Stores up to 1000 tests

Intended to be used only with FreeStyle Precision Neo test strips, the glucose range for the system is 20 – 500 mg/dL. Many flexible spending accounts (FSAs) allow purchase of glucose test strips and do not require a prescription.

Robert Ford, senior vice president of diabetes care at Abbott, said in a press release. “Today, more than ever, consumers have more influence on their health care decisions, and Abbott is focused on offering products that provide the highest standard of accuracy, and are also affordable and easily accessible OTC.”