Diabetic Test supplies... the Giant Rip Off.

I'm missing an integral part of My diabetic Test Regime - the control solution. You can't really test your blood sugars if you don't use it as you can't know if your meter or the test strips are defective otherwise. In other words, the meters are useless without the weekly control test.

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.

Wow my first "vacation" in years

Well, it's actually a "family maintenance" excursion, but I can still have fun. And, since I can, I'm blogging the "adventure" It's 1:30 pm and I'm sitting in a Burger King with Internet access in Willits, California, having been on the road since 9 am. Yes, It took me almost 5 hours to get to Willits. Too bad I didn't stop in SF at 11... Herein lies the tale (I think I've been listening to too much Rider Haggard, but more on that later.) I had planned to leave as soon as I got off work on Wednesday. I won't go into details, but the project was delayed and I couldn't reach a good stopping point until late Thursday. I'm also having to do this on the cheap, for other reasons I won't go into in a public blog. Let's just make it sufficient to say, don't ever lend money you think you can spare for a few months to someone who says he's just waiting for his loan to come through and he'll pay you back in a couple weeks. Anyway, between the schedule with my client, a good friends surgery, and some drama's happening with my housemate (who also lent the above person some cash and ran short this month.) I was emotionally and physically exhausted by the time I left the office on Thursday. I hadn't even packed yet. I hadn't picked up my tent from the storage locker. I hadn't gotten the new tires that my mechanic had told me I'd need before the end of the year. Last night I packed, set up my room so my landlord can pop in and feed Neko. It was after 10 when I finally finished everything. The storage locker closes at 10. I decided that sleep was a better option. I'd planned to leave the house by 5:30am. I woke at 7:30. got the rest of the car packed by 8:15, Picked up some cash for gas, got gas, mailed a letter, and made it to the storage locker at 8:45. I left there at 9, stopped to get some coffee, some on road groceries and use the restroom at the shopping center where I work on weekends. From there I caught the connector to 280 at 9:45. Normally, the trip to Golden Gate bridge takes about 30 minutes. Traffic and I suspect a really bad traffic accident on 19th avenue said otherwise. The CHP was hosing off the intersection (I didn't keep track of which one) as I passed through. Before that It took me almost an hour to go from where 280 turns into SF, and Where the accident occurred. Fortunately for me, I'd picked up a couple of books on tape and Had something to do while I was literally inching my way across San Francisco. I'm currently on tape 4 of a 9 tape set of H. Rider Haggard's "She". I've been meaning to read the book since I bought a copy back in the 60's. Due to the 18th Century language, and pacing it's been very hard to get into. I'm glad I saw a copy at the library, as it's pacing is ...perfect for a long car ride. I can enjoy the descriptions, and I won't have the tendency to skip ahead as I do when I'm reading fast. The pacing is such that you can miss something important if you skim the text and lose some of the context. "She" is the Grandmother of all adventure stories and many movies have been based on it and its concepts as well as the Haggard's "King Solomon's Mines." Well Breaks over. I've got to get back on the road. My next checkpoint point is Eureka hopefully by 4:30, but with all the highway construction going on, that might be a problem.
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