A Mumbai diabetologist is on a mission to reduce the price of strips of glucometer used by diabetics for testing blood sugar levels. The 38-year-old Malad resident has started an online campaign – #PriceCeilingGlucoStrips – to attract government’s attention on heavy price that every diabetes patient have to bear for managing blood sugar levels.
“Cost of every strip used in glucometer is Rs25 and it is not reusable. Type I diabetes patients and Type II diabetes patients with chronic kidney disease or having fluctuating blood sugar levels have to check their blood sugar levels 2-3 times in a day and thus, it is expensive for them in terms of diabetes management,” said Dr Pradeep Gadge, owner of Dr Gadge’s Diabetes Care Centre.
He said in the wake of government deciding to cap the price of stents and plans of making healthcare affordable, it is important to bring it to their notice about high cost borne by diabetics every month for monitoring their blood sugar levels.
“I have been speaking to glucometer manufacturers, but it is hardly of any help. While the manufacturing cost of a strip is around 5 paise, it is sold for Rs25,” said Gadge.
High cost of glucometer strips have led to many diabetics avoid test.
The latest diabetes data, a part of National Family Health Survey-4 released by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, shows that overall incidence of diabetes in India is 20.3% and 26% in Maharashtra.
“Apart from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a diabetes patient needs to monitor his/her blood sugar levels. If government brings down the price of glucometer strips, it will help our patients to monitor their blood sugar levels in a better way. This will help in reducing the morbidity and mortality rates related to diabetes in the country,” said Gadge.
Gadge has four clinics in Mumbai and plans to take help of his patients and diabetolgists in creating a buzz online on the issue. “I also plan to start an online petition,” said Gadge.