“Psychologically Dependent” Type 2s Use Too Many Test Strips?

According to Pulse, the UK’s leading medical weekly, a review of the evidence has concluded that for type 2s on oral medication whose A1c’s are below 7.5%, blood glucose monitoring offers “little advantage and may increase the likelihood of hypoglycemia.”

According to Pulse, the review “could give GPs the confidence to resist pressure from well-controlled but psychologically dependent patients to allow them to continue self-monitoring.”

Speaking to Pulse, Dr. Stephen Lawrence said, “GPs who are not diabetes specialists can feel under pressure to allow patients to self-test because the patients feel it is part and parcel of their diabetes care…There should be better education that while self-monitoring gives you a snapshot of your diabetes control, the A1c gives more of a camcorder approach over several months.”

Dr. Ike Iheanacho, editor of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (which published the study), added, “I don’t think we can assume GPs know that the case for self-monitoring of reasonable control has yet to be made. It will come as a surprise to lots of people…Self-monitoring depends on proper medication because it is not a treatment in itself.”

According to Pulse, a publication read by eighty percent of Britain’s physicians, many GPs continue to encourage routine monitoring of blood glucose despite a lack of evidence of benefit for many patients. This reckless habit forced the National Health Service to spend over $65 million on monitoring agents in the last quarter of 2006 alone.

Source: Pulse, September 2007

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