I don't know if its just CVS and Walgreens but neither carry the Control Solution for any of the Diabetic test meters. They always tell you "It's not in stock." And if asked what the price is, the clerk mumbles something about the price of the meter.
What they don't tell you is that they are charging the price of the meter for the control solution. In the past when I've needed Control Solution, I've gone down to my local Pharmacy and gotten a 2 pack for about $10. Each vial is good for about 6 months once opened, and contains about 75 doses. It has to be used once a week, or whenever you change test strips to verify that both your meter is still working correctly, and the test strips are viable. It's usually more than enough to do the job. I guess the California Pharmacy's got wise and discovered a gold mine. I'm told that current price at CVS and Walgreens is $20 for one vial. It's covered by Insurance, but if you don't have insurance like I do, and have a limited income, you are in big trouble.
After looking for almost 6 months, I finally broke down and bought a new meter so that I could have small supply of the control solution, which supposedly comes with the product. To me this is a very big rip off as well. The meters are considered e-waste and I believe I have to pay to have them recycled, as it is illegal in this state to dump e-waste into the garbage. I object on a matter of principle of buying a "throw away" product that should last about 2-3 years, but am forced to replaced every 3 months, because one of the cheaper components isn't available. But the disease, the drug companies, and local major drug chains have you over a barrel. I know it's the law of supply and demand, but I believe that this "shortage" is artificial.
Oh, and the new meter I just bought, was defective... It didn't come with the 5 test strips or bottle of control solution as advertised. Hopefully Walgreens will take it back and replace it. I just wanted the control solution and maybe someone on the assembly line needed some too. Test strips are about $1.15 a strip. The control solution used to be sold for approximately $5 a bottle. So the $19 meter includes $12 worth of materials. Plus 10 lancets, which are about 14 cents each. So, If Walgreens won't take it back I have 2 new meters I can't use and since I bought a supply of Test Strips as well which are only good until 6/11, I need to find control solution by sometime late this year so I don't lose that money as well.
It's really too bad I don't order over the Internet, but I've found that as a rule, the internet companies may offer a cheap price, but get you in the shipping charges area. Or you have to order a 5 year supply of a product with a shelf life of 2 years in order to get the price break. Which, if you think of it is more toxic waste to the dump when you have to get rid of the out of date unused product. I'd rather be able to order it from my local pharmacy who has a big enough turn over to give you the break. Supposedly those folks still exist out there.
And, yes, you can still get the box of two control solution vials for about $12. The box of 2 is available, just not in my area. And, from what I can tell the Big Box pharmacies are not carrying the required control solution. They know a gold mine when they see one. I just hate it being in my pocket.