Test Strip Shortage

On Wednesday last week, I got a phone call from a representative who works for the Insulet Group, founders of the OmniPod insulin pump. They said that with new regulations and guidelines for 2013, they are offering a mail service for supplies (eg. test strips, lancets). I was very excited to hear that they could possibly save me some money by doing mail orders, so I told them to sign me up! Seriously, who doesn’t like to save money?!

freestyle test stripsAt the moment, I currently use Rite Aid as my primary pharmacy and pick up prescriptions on a monthly (if not more) basis. The people at my store are really nice and know me by name (mainly because I’ve had to fight with my insurance company on a number of times). At the beginning of last year, my insurance company decided they were no longer going to cover my FreeStyle test strips. They told me to use a One Touch meter, and they would cover the strips for them. Well — since I am on OmniPod, and my testing meter is wireless with my insulin pump, it was not possible to switch to a One Touch meter. Of course we went back and forth, but eventually they agreed to cover my FreeStyle strips as long as they got a letter from my endocrinologist about my particular situation. He agreed to send the letter, and my FreeStyle Strips were then covered.

I explained that to the representative from OmniPod when we spoke. He said that my insurance company already knows my situation, and getting FreeStyle test strips would not be a problem in 2013. He then asked “How much do you spend on a co-pay for your test strips?” “Ha. Roughly $70 each month for only 200 strips,” I answered. “But I also test my sugars between 6-8 times per day, and my script never lasts me throughout the entire month. If I was to get 250 strips like I actually need, I would be paying around $170 for only one extra vial! (50 strips)” It is a tough thing to have to decide between health and money, but I am just a broke college student, and I need my extra $100 each month.

The representative told me he would look into the costs and give me a call back later. I told him he needed to rush it and do it that day because I was already on my last vial and I rather avoid going to Rite Aid to get my script. He called me back a few hours later, and said I would be pleasantly pleased with what he had to say. “You need to have your doctor send us a script, and we will refill your next prescription of FreeStyle test strips and mail them directly to your home. But best of all, it’ll only cost you $10 for a supply of 250.” OHHH!! I SCREAMED FOR JOY! Who doesn’t love saving some money on things you have no choice but to buy!?

Today is Sunday, and I have yet to receive any test strips. I am getting extremely worried now, firstly because I don’t actually know if they received the prescription from my doctor, I don’t know if my test strips are in the mail, and I am dwindling down to my last 10 strips for the month! I’ve already called Insulet to see if they have sent them out, but being the weekend, they are currently closed. I left a detailed message and HOPE to hear back from them tomorrow. Would it make sence to call in my prescription to Rite Aid? Should I spend the extra money to know I have strips, or to try to save some money by waiting and testing less for the next few days? What to do…… what to do! ? Humm..

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