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Monday, January 15, 2007

A Simple Way to Choose a Glucose Meter for Your Diabetes Management

There is nothing better than asking your physician for a prescription because only doctors have full access to new developments, and the most reliable brands.

However, some doctors prefer to allow patients with diabetes to choose meters by themselves. Others want to buy meters because they fear that diabetes may set in though they do not have the disease as yet.

Choosing a glucose meter on your own can be difficult. Manufacturers make claims which you may find in real life to be highly exaggerated if not outright wrong. I bought a meter based on the international reputation of the manufacturer, and because of endorsement by a cricketer I respect, only to find a useless call center on the telephone, when on opening the package, I found that I had been tricked in to buying a defective unit!

The United States FDA has had occasion in 2006 to order the recall of a batch of test strips which made its way in to the market, though they were defective. Are you sure that the strips you use are calibrated properly? Who will make contact with you to let you know that you should return defective strips?

I am tempted to say that it is best to rely on a trusted diagnostic laboratory, but feel guilty because my family owns one! It would be more appropriate to conclude that your neighborhood pharmacist should choose a brand, if your doctor has not done so, and if you prefer and need your own tests, in addition to ones by professional laboratories. The local pharmacy is where you must return regularly to buy strips, so the brand of the meter, which you buy just once, is secondary. Remember to keep your contacts with the pharmacy in case a batch of strips is found after making its way to market, to be defective.


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