Thursday, August 30, 2007

You Discontinued What?!?

Yesterday I walked into the Duane Reade near my office to pick up the test strips refill I had ordered on-line the day before. When I arrived at NYC's finest pharmacy I was informed that the Freestyle Flash meter was being discontinued and that the test strips would no longer be offered! Thankfully, the pharmacy had 100 test strips left (enough to get me through about 10 days) but charged me the full price of my prescription for them - those bastards!

So my question is - does my pharmacy have a clue as to what's going on? Is the Flash being discontinued in favor of the Lite? And if so what meter should I get, size and accuracy are most important to me. I hope this serves as a heads up to all of you with a Freestyle Flash - Abbot will be hearing from me if in fact they discontinued a meter without informing us a few months before.

Update: Did some investigative research, Abbott is still producing the Freestyle Flash strips but certain pharmacies have decided to discontinue them. I called Duane Reade and DR is one of the pharmacies that is no longer carrying the Freestyle Flash strips.

10 comments:

Chels said...

One Touch Ultra Smart is the best meter I have ever had. I have never had problems with accuracy and Lifescan is SO accomodating. When my meter broke once when I was out of town they called the pharmacy and all I had to do was go pick it up.

Also, with the ultra smart it is very easy to figure out approximately what your A1c is because of the extensive averages they have.

Christine-Megan said...

I would call Abbott. I'm sure the Lite is becoming more of a priority now, but I highly, highly, highly doubt the normal freestyle strips were discontinued. Seriously, the old Freestyle that took those strips was discontinued, but then there's the Flash, Freedom, and Cozmonitor that still use those strips. They'd have to redo the Cozmonitor and give out a lot of Lites if they discontinued the old strips.

I like the UtraSmart too, but get a lot of error messages with it. Flash for the win!

Kim said...

What? I just started using it b/c the insurance company gave it to me for free and they seem to love love love the Freestyle test strips as they're the cheapest on my plan.

I will be pumping in a matter of weeks so I guess I'll switch to the meter w/ the pump. They are moving to a Lifescan meter next spring so I guess I'll become a one touch kind of girl then.

I do love my little flash though. It sucks such a tiny amount of blood.

Anne said...

these sorts of episodes are so frustrating... I am really sorry.

chris said...

The strips are definetly NOT being discontinued. They are the same strips that are used for the Flash and the Freedom. Only the new Lite ones need different strips. There are plenty of supply places that still carry them, at least mine does.

Dying Water Buffalo said...

How are you going to leave your DNA all over Manhattan now?!

Lili said...

I guess I don't get it - how can a pharmacy stop carrying something you have a prescription for? Sure, they might not have it out on the shelf for nonprescription customers, but why couldn't they order it for you every month? My pharmacy has to special-order a lot of things for me, so I have all my prescriptions set to refill automatically so it all works smoothly.

Scott K. Johnson said...

LOL at DWB!! I'm SO guilty of that too - just in the Minneapolis area...

Speaking of DNA, and making the jump to the forensic cop shows and stuff... Do you think that a finger print riddled with lancet marks makes us easier or harder to identify?

I would like to know more about what drives a pharmacy to make those kinds of decisions? I understand it has to do with dollars and cents, but what? Why?

Frustrating for you I'm sure!

Cara said...

It's scary about not being able to get enough strips. My meter (BD that goes w/ the mini med pump) has such rare test strips that they always have to order mine. The last time I had to wait for 2 days for more strips! Ahhh! Very scary. I was down to 4 strips when I got the new box that would last me til they got the rest of my order in!

Scott said...

They might not have discontinued the test strips, but losing retailers to carry them is usually a sign they're out the door. This happens about every 5 years or so with virtually every manufacturer. Because they cannot extend their patents, they make marginal changes to the design of the strips, thus enabling them to enjoy new patent protection. Personally, I don't really understand the logic, since its not like we have any generic strip manufacturers beating down their doors with cheaper, generic test strips anyway, but since the first meters came out in the mid-1980's or so, I have seen this pattern repeat itself over and over.

But testing equipment is the easy part ... now imagine they do the same thing with your current insulin -- you know, the one you have mastered your basals with and worked endlessly to find the right insulin-to-carb ratios for each meal of the day, and then all of a sudden, they announce it will be gone in the not-to-distant future. That's happened to me a number of times since the 1970's, and I suspect we'll see that pattern continue. Whoever said that oligopolies are efficient economic systems probably still drives an AMC Pacer, and misses the days when AT&T was the only long-distance carrier and paid $5 a minute for a call to California.