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To: Anna Soubry - Health Minister

Better provision of testing strips for type 2 diabetics

Dear Anna, please act on the blanket ban many primary care trusts have imposed on testing strips for type 2 diabetics.

Why is this important?

It is vital that testing strips are made available to all type 2 diabetics, without them it is impossible to truly understand how different foods affect blood glucose levels. Upon diagnosis patients should be offered enough strips to be able to test before and after meals and in doing so build up a clearer picture of how diabetes affects them as an individual, after a period of time the patient will no longer need to test so frequently, only if feeling unwell or when eating an unfamiliar food.

Testing strips are an aid to good control of diabetes and are integral in reducing the amount of complications that can occur, well managed blood glucose reduces the chance of severe visual loss/blindness by 25% and early kidney damage by 33%.

Testing strips cost the NHS between 24-40 pence each, depending on the brand used. The cost of complications far outweigh the cost of providing testing strips on a year by year basis. The cost of amputation and post amputation care cost the NHS approximately £19,000 per patient in 2010/2011. Ulceration cost approximately £3,400 per patient in the same year. Renal failure costs approximately £30,000 each and every year the patient survives. Heart failure costs approximately £3,000 in the first year and then £1,000 in each additional year. The cost of supplying medication and testing strips is estimated at £300-£370 per patient per year. The total cost of treating preventable complications is £9.8 billion per year.

I've benefited greatly from testing my blood glucose, my hba1c is down 10% in the year since being diagnosed but I have had to fund testing strips myself after an out and out refusal by my GP on cost grounds, unfortunately I'm unable to refuse on cost grounds as I don't want to risk complications so I buy strips instead of buying gas. It's a shame that so many people who would like to actively manage their diabetes cannot do so due to blanket restrictions on strips, especially when there appears to be such a large financial benefit to the country.



2017-01-06 08:36:18 +0000

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