Diabetics - Deadline For Strips On Repeat - 1 March

, posted: 14-Feb-2013 16:02

Long time no blog, just a quick notice for my fellow Diabetics.

If you have test strips (that are to lose their funding) on repeat, you must pick up those repeats before the 1st of March.

If you don't, the repeat will not be valid from the 1st of March, thanks to Pharmac.

So, make sure you go into your chemists next week to pickup any test strips you have on repeat, just tell them you had to do a lot more testing, or going on holiday, or something like that to put in the computer as to why you are picking up early, you won't be the only one for sure.

Please pass the message on to any Diabetics you know.

My local pharmacist has said that the whole thing is a complete shambles, he has people coming in with scripts for 10 boxes at a time when normally they'd collect 2 a month, has no idea how many he should order in advance.  So don't leave it to the last minute.

Eventually of course, you're going to have to switch to the new meters.  And when you do.  Please take care that you still have enough of the old strips so you can do a series of comparisons, people are reporting that the new meters are hopelessly over-reading, 2 units is typical, some are reporting up to 5.  Apparently CareSens reps have even said to be aware of it.

Sounds like if your new CareSens meter tells you you are at 4.0, well you should probably treat for a rather serious 2.0 hypo, if you're still managing to stay upright.

Who knows how Pharmac thinks this is appropriate for medical equipment?

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Comment by Linuxluver, on 14-Feb-2013 17:27

I'm not sure I'd be blaming Pharmac. They have masters who want to make medicine more expensive for everyone to insurance companies and multi-nationals can profit from illness and disability. 

Big Pharma in the US has made it VERY clear they regard efficient, cost-effective agencies like Pharmac as mortal enemies to be killed...and the party in power in NZ right now has very big ears when multi-nationals talk.  

Author's note by sleemanj, on 14-Feb-2013 18:26


"have masters who want to make medicine more expensive", not entirely sure of your reasoning there, this change is due to Pharmac being massively dense and going for the lowest-cost provider regardless to make it "less expensive" (for the Pharmac coffers).

The new meters are not made by "big pharma", they are made by some virtual unknown in this country, and they are by all accounts, not very good.

I suggest you read some on the subject at hand.  See an earlier blog for a start.  http://www.geekzone.co.nz/sleemanj/7982

Comment by Mark, on 15-Feb-2013 16:40

I've just updated to this meter.


Best I've ever had.
Not looking forward to returning to NZ later this year and not being able to use it.

Comment by LostBoyNZ, on 16-Feb-2013 19:31

I went with the CareSense N Pop to replace my Accu-Chek Performa Nano. I just started using it after reading this article, as I have half a container of Accu-Chek strips left too.

So far I haven't had any match up. Here's a few, my Accu-Chek on the left, the new CareSense N Pop on the right...

6.4  6.0
3.8  4.2
16.4   17.8
7.2  7.7

Comment by ZeJackal, on 17-Feb-2013 18:33

Cheers for the reminder James, I'll have my final repeat and script to pickup this week. Sorry to hear that the meter change could lead to "incorrect" readings and potentially complications with readings, insulin and hypos.

Comment by pctek, on 19-Feb-2013 10:33

Husbands had his for a while now, they are NOT over reading, in fact it's pretty much bang on with the old one.

Comment by slartibartfast, on 20-Feb-2013 21:12

Our daughter is now on a Caresens N Pop - no concerns here with under or over reading. I haven't done a calibration against the older meter - but I have read reports on the tests that meters have to pass to get approved (and the acceptable error limits) and I reckon your assertions on over reading are FUD.

We're quite happy with the new meter - the backlit screen is good, and it reads faster and with less blood than the Accu-chek. One concern is the temperature meter on the device means it won't give a result if under or over temperature - worried how this will work outside in winter. We had it overheat once in summer when lying in the sun, and it wouldn't test - but it came right after a minute. Only other niggle is I can't get it to work with Diasend to report data back to Starship.

Comment by Jane, on 28-Feb-2013 08:27

Bear in mind that I am not adverse to change but am adverse to having inferior products that are determental to my health. Comparrison testing when/if you are changing to a CareSen meter is highly recommended however what do you do with the information? My comparisons have been consistently inconsistent. AccuChec Preforma vs NPop examples. 3.5 / 4.7 result was a hypo which would have gone unchecked. 14.2 / 18 , 6.4 / 9.3 . So which meter do i take my information from and how do i treat the readings? It has been suggested that my Accu Chek was out however, there are many varieties on the market and reports of finding similar to mine. For now I use my true and trusted and pray the day will come (before my stock pile runs out) that Caresen meters are improved or removed. Also the working temperature is unstable as last week members of the Diabetic community reported meters not working due to cooler weather already! There are numerous issues with these meters that are going unanswered with Pharaco, Pharmac and the Minister of Health. Good luck one and all!

Comment by Jay, on 28-Feb-2013 10:15

pctek, they are pretty close between 4 and 10. But like LostBoy points out, they become real PITA if it's above or below. I had them miss 25% of hypos and the absolute deviation rises above 13 drastically to a degree where I would give my son up to 2 units more insulin which could have disastrous consequences (ISF 3.5-5).

Plus there's a number of other issues: strip size, strip colour, amount of reactive agent, deletion of test results, no hypo test solution, 0800 number not 24/7, software unworkable, battery life less than half, dropping results even tho the 500 mark on the N POP is not reached, fail prone pricker, easily accessible desiccant in the lid of the strip container (beware mums and dads of littlies!!!), temperature issues, replacement of meters take more than 48 hours ... The list is long!

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James Sleeman
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