A Good Argument for Free Test Strips?

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If you provide them they will test…

A new study found that if blood glucose meter test strips were provided for free, people with diabetes would be motivated to test more often.

Researchers from the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Manitoba in Canada studied 62 insulin-treated participants with diabetes. The participants were randomized to two groups and matched for age, sex, education, income, type and duration of diabetes, years of insulin treatment, number of daily insulin injections and A1Cs.

All participants were given a meter, but one group was given strips free of charge. The other group had to purchase test strips as they found it necessary.

After 12 months, it was discovered that the frequency of testing was higher in the group that did not have to pay for strips (two times per day versus 1.4 times per day, respectively).

A1Cs remained the same in the group that was given free test strips, but the group that paid for their own strips saw an increase in A1C values.

Diabetic Medicine, February 2004

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