Individuals with diabetes need diabetic testing supplies to monitor their blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, these supplies are often pricey. Why are diabetic test strips expensive? Learn what makes glucose test strips expensive and how you can lower your costs.
What Are Diabetic Test Strips?
Diabetic test strips are small pieces of material used to test blood glucose levels. Test strips came on the market in the 1980s, when they contained a special enzyme that turned to dye in the presence of glucose. Although these strips worked well, the glucometers (glucose measuring devices) were tough to use. Plus, it took a lot of blood to get an accurate sample.
Today’s test strips rely on a scientific process known as electrochemistry. The test strips still contain an enzyme that reacts in the presence of glucose. Instead of making dye, however, the enzyme creates an electrical current. The glucometer “reads” the level of this current to determine the concentration of glucose in the blood. This is not only more accurate, but it requires less blood. Plus, the machines are easier to use.
Why Are Test Strips Expensive?
They make look like tiny strips, but diabetes testing supplies are important pieces of medical equipment. Each test strip begins as a huge role of plastic that is coated in a thin layer of gold. The gold is cut into a special pattern that turns it into a circuit. Then, a chemical mixture is placed on the end of the test strip where blood is placed. The mixture contains the enzyme that turns glucose into electricity. After application of the enzyme, the roll is dried. Protective stickers are applied, and the roll is divided into millions of small test strips.
What makes glucose test strips expensive? The complex manufacturing process. A lot of steps go into the process, and the raw materials are expensive. In particular, it’s tricky to work with the enzyme that creates the chemical reaction with glucose. The enzyme is a living thing, meaning that it takes a lot of effort to guarantee it stays alive once placed on the test strip. That is why you must ensure your test strips stay at the right humidity and temperature. Changing the environment affects the quality of the enzyme and accuracy of your results.
Manufacturers also spend a lot of money on research and development, which is eventually factored into the test strip price. In the end, consumers pay anywhere from 25 cents to more than a dollar per test strip, depending on the brand and type.
Importance of Using Diabetic Test Strips, Despite the Expense
There’s no getting around the fact that diabetic test strips are expensive. Although manufacturers do not set out to make glucose test strips expensive, their cost can seem prohibitive to some people with diabetes. However, using glucose test strips is the best way to accurately measure your diabetes health. Testing your blood sugar levels can help you maintain good glycemic control. This is associated with better overall health and lower risk of diabetic complications.
How can you make diabetes testing supplies more affordable? First, shop to find price comparisons. You can also check with your insurance company to see if it covers the cost of particular diabetes test supplies. Finally, you can sell any unused strips at Sell Test Strips Here to get some extra cash.