health care

Diabetics in UK Suffer Rationing of Glucose-Testing Strips

Many denied tools to monitor blood sugar levels


Access to blood glucose test strips vital to help diabetics manage their condition is being restricted against government guidance, a charity says.

Of about 2,200 people who answered a question about the strips as part of a survey for Diabetes UK, 39% had had prescriptions refused or restricted.

It says restrictions are being imposed by local health managers to save money.

But a spokesman representing Clinical Commissioning Groups said the strips had been over-prescribed in the past.


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  1. As a person who has known a great many diabetics, it’s a little hard to ‘overperscribe’ something which can only be used once, and needs to be used anywhere from two to five times a day in order to effectively control the condition without suffering more debilitating effects – which have a significantly higher cost of treatment.

  2. It’s only “free” (taxpayer-funded, via the NHS) test strips which are being “rationed”.

    You can still buy them from a chemist or off Amazon-UK for as little as ?6.99 per 50 (the brand I just looked up, “SD Codefree Blood Glucose Monitor/Monitoring Test/Testing Kit Replacement Strips”).

    This is what happens when people get used to the government providing everything “for free” … they think that if something not available “for free” it’s not available at all.

    We’ll get to that point in the States as well: witness the Flukes of this country wailing that being against forcing insurers to provide “free” birth control pills was akin to wanting to ban them.

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