A number of diabetes communities have been running discussions about the high cost of consumables (strips), noting that the strips for store-brand and off-brand meters are often much less expensive. Also, there are a lot of folk who see the low-priced store-branded monitors with low-priced consumables and go that route before hearing of the name-brand items.
I decided to do a bit of poking around as a matter of general curiosity, and have found some very interesting developments: combo blood-pressure/blood-glucose monitors; monitors that come packaged with PC connector cables; monitors that still use huge sample sizes — and monitors that have gotten down to 0.5 microliter sample size with a 7-second response time.
While I am very happy with my Freestyle Flash, I'm curious: how accurate are these off-brand monitors, how reliable are they in not wasting strips, what is their real effective lifetime compared to the name-brands, and how good is their customer service?
Has anyone here tried any of the drugstore brands, or "off-brands" such as Advocate, Clever Chek, and Bionime? If so, what did you think of the meters? How easy was it to get strips for them? How accurate and how reliable were their readings? What did you think of the form factors, the connections, the software, and the customer service?
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