If you use a blood glucose meters from one of the big four meter companies to check your level four times a day, you will probably pay anywhere from $1,700 to $2,300 each year. But if instead you test with a meter and strips from one of the “big box” stores, you would be out of pocket only about $600 to $800.
This is a useful bit of information from the latest Consumer Reports review of the “Best Blood Glucose Meters.” The magazine rates 21 meters in a brief article of one chart and five paragraphs in less than a page in its November 2012 issue.
The big box stores that sell some of the least expensive meters and test strips are Wal-Mart and Target. Wal-Mart has offered its ReliOn brand for years, but Target now offers its Up & Up brand.
Still, the wide price gap may be misleading. Each of the big four — LifeScan, Roche, Bayer, and Abbott — offer programs that can provide some of us test strips for considerably less.
Most people with diabetes will find the report, however brief, useful. It’s already on newsstands and, better yet, on the shelves of most libraries.
What Consumer Reports says is important. Published by the nonprofit Consumers Union and containing no ads, this is one of our largest circulation magazines. Two years ago it had a circulation of 7.3 million copies, according to a review of the magazine in The Wall Street Journal.
The magazine regularly reviews these meters, the most important tool that we have for managing our blood sugar. Four years ago I wrote here about its review of 13 meters from eight different manufacturers.