A New Meter


I love love LOVE my OneTouch Verio IQ meters, and I’m very much looking forward to the OneTouch Verio Sync.

However….

My insurance coverage will be changing next month and my copay per month on strips will be $55.  I go to a Target Pharmacy and I was informed by a pharmacist that if I used an Up&Up Premium Blood Glucose Meter (manufactured by Agamatrix) I would be eligible for their $4 a month program.

Yes. $4 a month.  For all my strips.  $4 for 250 strips.

That’s mind-boggling!

However….I’m not willing to give up on my OneTouch meters without having an idea of how this other meter stacks up in comparison, in terms of accuracy. The meters are not sold with any sample strips, however.

Last time I was at Target I checked the OTC prices on the strips for that meter…..they are priced almost exactly like the OneTouch strips. Which means I cannot afford to purchase them OTC.

My insurance will not split a RX for the month and pay for me to get half my strips for one meter and half for the other, so that’s not an option.

I tried emailing Agamatrix and explained all of this and asked if it was possible to obtain a small sample (10!) of strips and got two responses. The first basically said ‘I’m not sure we can help you, but send us your address and I’ll forward this to my manager and we’ll see what happens.’  So I sent back my address and waited.

Less than 6 hours later I had my answer:

Kari,

Thank you. I am afraid Management has made it clear to me that our policy prohibits us sending you any strips.

If you had the strips, we could send you a free Premium meter.  We just cannot send strips.  Thank you.

Uh….yeah.  Well, then….I guess you don’t want me to switch to your meter.  Cause I am NOT willing to do it blindly.  What if the meter is highly inaccurate for me? I don’t want to go through the hassle of changing my RX over just to have to change it back again. And if it’s inaccurate and I’ve changed my RX over, I’ll have at least 250 strips….which I will feel compelled to use.

So I guess it isn’t happening, unless I can find another way to score a small sample of strips to test a meter with.

I’m disappointed with Agamatrix – I know many companies (OneTouch, Bayer…) are willing to send a small sample of strips to someone who is genuinely interested in trying out one of their meters, in the hopes they will gain that person as a customer.  It’s a non-issue.  So I’m not sure why it’s an issue for Agamatrix, but I think it’s unfortunate.  With this kind of decision, people aren’t necessarily ready to shell out money for something they haven’t tested at least once or twice.

(Note: If anyone reading this uses any of the Agamatrix store-branded Premium Blood Glucose Meters or the Wavesense Jazz (which is essentially the exact same meter, but again….branded differently upon manufacture) – do you find them to be accurate? Have you compared them to other meters? How do they stand up if tested against a blood draw?)

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One thought on “A New Meter

  1. In Europe (specifically in the UK where AgaMatrix have their European office in Oxford) all meters come in starter packs commonly having 10 lancets and the pricker (sometimes 25), 10 strips, usually 25 particularly where the test strips usually come in 50’s.

    In the UK we don’t have to worry about paying for test strips or insulin or any medications.
    Since:
    1) all children under 16, and those still in education until 19, (i.e. normal pre-university students and some university students in part of their first year)
    2) adults over 60 (currently – that may change to a higher age possibly 65 or 67 in a few years time, as the usual retirement age and state pension age is harmonised between the 2 genders and is ramped up, it started at 60 for women and 65 for men, and will be 67 by the time I retire)
    3) Diabetics on tablets, (and insulin) since they are on the list of a few chronic conditions. (they do have to apply for a 5 yearly exemption certificate and keep a registered address up to date)
    4) Women are exempt from the date of confirmation of pregnancy, until their child is 1 year old

    are exempt from prescription charges which are currently £7.85 per item.

    There are pre-payment schemes where if you get more than 14 items per year you save.
    A 3-month pre-payment is £29.00 and annual is £104.00, ie £2.00 per week, paid upfront or in 10 monthly direct debit payments.

    (Contraceptives do not attract prescription charges), Those on Jobseekers Allowance (unemployment benefits) and Employment Support Allowance (sickness benefits for the long term sick, including those with mental health problems that prevent them working), they are subject to periodic review and have to report changes of circumstances.

    So diabetics here only have to pay for their meters, anything available on prescription is FREE. The criteria for insulin pumps are extremely rigid so some opt to pay for them themselves.

    Also we get an exemption on VAT (a form of purchase tax – 20% in the UK, 23% in Eire, 19% in Germany, other countries have different rates in the same ballpark) on items that are essential for your medical condition if you have a condition on the list mentioned above where the product is essential and can only be used for someone with the specifed conditions giving rise to the exemption.

    The NHS has a very strict control on prices of prescription items (whch include insulin pens) so they are not too expensive. (a Novopen 4 costs the NHS £26.86) and if you go and buy retail they are from about £28 plus shipping on Amazon UK, some online pharmacies try to sell it for just over £40. Amazon.DE has it at about 80 Euros.
    Novopen 5 is at present only available (at present) in Denmark (where Novo Nordisk has its World HQ); Sweden (there is a toll bridge/tunnel between the two countries and with freedom of movement Swedes would simply travel and buy them in Denmark); and Switzerland (not a member of the EU) and they may have been launched in China. (possibly Italy also – NovoNordisk.com is not upto date)

    So for a meter that costs say £ 30 (GBP) you would only pay VAT on the postage and packing, (if you know of the exemption and make the appropriate declaration and it is accepted by seller, there are serious fines for false declarations)

    Someone who opts to pay for their own pump, then it and its consumables would be VAT exempt execpt for the shipping (sometimes the manufacturers offer free shipping).

    E.G. A recent order from needlebay.com with a subtotal of £32.91 and shipping of £3.54 only attracted 0.59 of VAT.

    Things bought on the internet are only charged at the rate of the country you are buying from, so we avoid Ireland and Luxembourg, if possible.

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