Too Many Sticks!

11 posts, 7 contributors

Search the DAFNE Online Forums

 
Crystal_Clear DAFNE Graduate
Glasgow
4 posts

hi, I recently graduated and now am going through a tub of freestyle sticks within 10 days. this is expensive for my gp's pratice. I noticed the abbott meter which scans is £450 on ebay. this is a lot of money. I said to my gp I would ask my educator at the review in 3 weeks time about this issue. could you be good enough to advise me on what I can do and how other diabetics using the dafne system cope with this. thank you.

Stew B DAFNE Graduate
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
125 posts

Tricky issue! How many strips in a tub? My One Touch Ultra strips are 50 to a tub, and I use 6+ every day (meals, exercise, driving, hypos etc) which means a maximum of 8 days (and usually less than that) per tub. The there's the needles issue - should we use a new needle for every injection?

The key issue is that good diabetes management is not only good for you & me personally, it saves the NHS loads in the long run. I think that unnecessary scrimping on strips, needles etc. is very much a false economy. A GP practice might feel that there's money to be saved by encouraging someone with type 1 to test less frequently or use needles more than once, but with the advent of CCGs the funding for the hospital treatments ultimately will come from the group which they are part of!

Stew

Vickyp DAFNE Graduate
Durham Diabetes Network
137 posts

I test 8+ times a day on average, so a box of 50 only lasts around 5-7days, my gp happily gives me 6boxes a month.

TimE DAFNE Graduate
Taunton and Somerset Hospital, Taunton
2 posts

My surgery tried to restrict me to two tubs a month, but have not done so since I pointed out that not only did my consultant require me to test 4-6 times a day, but that also the DVLA required me to test before driving.

Vickyp DAFNE Graduate
Durham Diabetes Network
137 posts

I use the freestyle too as they are the only strips compatible with the omnipod pump PDM! I don't see why you couldn't get more on prescription if you speak to gp, originally I got 4 boxes which I could just about stretch out to cover a month but told them I test upto 10times or more a day (which I do depending on activities/hypos etc) so could I get 6 boxes and there wasn't the slightest issue....all she said was 'you're poor fingers!'

Crystal_Clear DAFNE Graduate
Glasgow
4 posts

Thank you for feedback. The price of sticks has always been a bone of contention as far as I am concerned. I use Freestyle, 50 sticks in a tub. I was offered a leaflet advertising the new Freestyle Libre meter at the DAFNE course. There are other companies selling meters which scan. This type of meter would be ideal, but for the fact the sensors are so expensive. I am tired of the daily scourge of testing so I thought to write to these companies to make inquiries about the price. I will certainly have a discussion with my DAFNE educator at the review session.

Crystal_Clear DAFNE Graduate
Glasgow
4 posts

Oh, forget the scanner meters for just now. Stick with the sticks, focus on average BG levels.

dunkers7 DAFNE Graduate
NHS Lanarkshire
24 posts

I'd only go with the scanner type meter if you have a very good reason to..I heard from other diabetics recently that the demand for Libre has been so high, the company is actually struggling to keep up with the demand from new customers. You probably need to stick with the tool you have for the immediate future.

Just be aware that if you're testing between meals, there could be a tendency to over correct because the outcome of any QA insulin injected at meal time might not have happened yet. Obviously there are still good reasons to test between meals e.g. if you feel hypo or to meet DVLA requirements, but the aim is to be in your target BG range when testing pre-meal.

Sounds like it's worth a chat to your consultant at the hospital so they can sort your GPs out.

Peter DUAG Committee Member
University College London Hospitals (UCLH)
109 posts

If your doctor is complaining about the level of strip usage, I'd suggest you refer them to the new NICE National Clinical Guideline on the treatment which should provided to all Type 1 Diabetics in the UK. Whilst it is still in draft form at the moment, the final version is due to be published later this year (target August). The relevant recommendations for Blood Glucose Control, which is listed as a key priority for implementation is:

Support adults with type 1 diabetes to test at least 4 times a day, and up to 10 times a day if any of the following apply:

  • the target for blood glucose control, measured by HbA1c level (see recommendation 1.6.6), is not achieved
  • the frequency of hypoglycaemic episodes increases
  • there is a legal requirement to do so (such as before driving, in line with DVLA requirements)
  • during periods of illness
  • before and after sport
  • when planning pregnancy, during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
Given that these circumstances apply to most of us, this recommendation should be enough to persuade GPs of the need for a sensible quantity of test strops per day.

Peter DUAG Committee Member
University College London Hospitals (UCLH)
109 posts

Should have said that the guidance can be found here: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/gid-cgwaver122/documents/type-1-diabetes-update-draft-nice-guideline2