15,000 sign e-petition to slash glucometer rates

Cost price: 50 paise, selling price: ₹30

Mumbai: More than 15,000 people have signed an online petition that seeks reduction in the price of glucose strips used by diabetic patients to monitor blood sugar levels in their body.

The strips or glucometers, which determine the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood, are sold by varied brands and priced between ₹20 and ₹30. The petition started by city-based diabetologist Dr. Pradeep Gadge claims that the strips are being sold at an extremely high rate as the manufacturing cost of a strip is just 50 paise.

The petition states, “Most of the times, patients end up spending a major chunk of their earnings on diabetes care, which includes doctor’s consultation fees, pathology and radiology tests, medicine costs, cost of glucometers and glucometer strips. Their maximum spending is on medicines and other needed accessories.” Dr. Gadge’s petition has so far received 15,707 signatures. The petition adds, “Most companies charge around ₹20 per glucometer. This is exorbitantly high compared with the production cost, which is roughly 50 paise per strip.”

By starting the signature campaign, Dr. Gadge hopes to attract the public’s attention to the discrepancy in prices.

He said, “After getting a considerable number of signatures, the problem will be noticed by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority and the Health Ministry. Hopefully they will act on it.”

Medical experts say diabetic patients are advised to monitor their blood sugar levels at least 8 times a day. In such cases, a patient would spend between ₹160 and ₹320 on glucometers.

This article was published in The Hindu. Click here

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