You probably know that the FDA approves blood glucose meters. You may also know that those meters are required to read within 20 percent of actual glucose numbers when over 75 mg/dl and within 15 percent when below 75 mg/dl, 95 percent of the time.
But did you know that once a meter and its strips are approved, there is no independent testing to assure that those strips remain accurate? I didn’t. This article at Diabetes Daily explains this situation and the problems that this can cause for people with diabetes (PWD), especially those who use insulin.
This lack of oversight by the FDA has allowed many test strip manufacturers to slack off on accuracy, which puts PWD in danger. The biggest problem lies with inexpensive strips that are manufactured overseas. Some of those strips don’t meet the FDA’s minimum standards.
How can we control our diabetes when one of the things we rely on most (glucose testing) can’t be trusted? How can people properly dose their insulin when they’re essentially blindfolded? How can folks who use diet and exercise to control their diabetes do a good job without accurate information from their meters? We can’t. We need independent testing of test strips to insure our safety, but what can we do?
Bennet Dunlap, who blogs at Your Diabetes May Vary, has started a grassroots campaign that will hopefully make a difference. His new website, Strip Safely, is dedicated to spreading the word and asks people like you and me to write letters and demand a change. Will you help?