15,000 diabetics sign petition to reduce glucostrips price

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Over 15,000 diabetes patients from Mumbai have signed a petition to seek a reduction in the cost of glucostrips across country.Glucose monitors offer a lot of convenience for diabetics, without which they would have to go through a lot of hassle of going to the clinics to check their sugar levels.However, glucostrips, which are an integral part of the monitor needs to be refilled according to use and they can be very expensive.The petition, signed at the city’s Gadge Diabetes Centre, says move will help government realize that a reduction of glucostrip price would make it affordable for all.

“According to the organizers of the initiative, petition will be submitted to the price control body, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority — and the Union Health Ministry. Here are some life-saving tests every diabetic should get.”

According to Pradeep Gadge, a Mumbai-based diabetologist, the cost of health care is drastically increasing. The manufacturing cost of a glucostrip is 50 paise but the patient is charged Rs 25 to Rs 30. Those who need to keep a check on their blood glucose levels more than once a day will have to shell more than Rs 150 which may not be feasible for everyone.

According to him, the petition was signed by over 15,000 patients in just over a month.

He went on to add, “If one keeps in mind the prevalence of diabetes in the country, the need of the hour is price ceiling of glucostrips. This will help make it affordable for all.”

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2008, an estimated 347 million people in the world suffered from diabetes and the prevalence is growing, particularly in low and middle income countries.

India had 69.2 million people living with diabetes (8.7 per cent), as per the 2015 data. Of these, it remained undiagnosed in more than 36 million people.

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