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Re: [IPk] New FreeStyle bg meter
>I am told that the meter will not be released in the UK, as the strips are
>too expensive, and the Department of Health will not pay for them.
This is the latest gen I have got about the new Therasense LifeStyle meter
that uses a drop of blood no bigger than a pinhead blah blah blah.
It appears that the NHS/Department of Health are extremely ruthless
negotiators, being almost monopoly purchasers of bg testing strips in the
UK. They name a "reasonable" non-negotiable price, and the seller can take
it or leave it. This means that the NHS can buy strips at about half the
price that, say, German hospitals get them. This is good for the efficiency
of the NHS.
However, since the European Union is a free trade area in most goods, what
happens is that "intermediaries" buy up large quantities of strips in the
UK at UK prices, and re-export them to Germany, undercutting the negotiated
German rate, and losing the strip manufacturers a lot in lost sales. Is
this smuggling or free-trade? Well, it's legal, so I guess it must be
Therasense in their wisdom have decided to say no to the NHS's meagre price
offer. Despite losing UK sales, they will make far more money by stopping
the re-exporting of cheap UK strips to places like Germany.
I guess that if you really want to use this new meter, you could buy it and
the strips from a German healthcare mail order company. But you'd have to
pay for it all yourself - just like I did in the good old days (early
1980's) when I was at university. Self bg testing had become popular,
indeed necessary for me, but the strips weren't yet prescribable.
Or you could ask your doctor to petition the DoH...
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