Understanding Glucose Monitor and Test Strip Packaging
Can the consumer take advantage of the savings by purchasing from the "Alternate Source or Alternative Market?" The answer is a resounding yes! The manufacturers of monitors and glucose test strips market and sell their products to several different channels in different packages with different prices for the exact same products. They may label the product differently but this change in packaging has no impact on the product as these monitors and test strips are produced by these companies in the same factories the same way and intended to be used in exactly the same manner by the consumer. The only significant difference is that you will pay more for one or more of these packages.
We would like to present an overview of the different packaging for the exact same products:
- Retail Packaging: This packaging is typically the most expensive and the package that the manufacturers may prefer you to buy simply because they charge the most for this pack. Based on current Medicare and insurance reimbursements, you may actually lose money by buying and selling this packaging. For cash customers this pack is very expensive and there is no way to pass a savings onto the consumer and promote store loyalty.
- Mail Order: This package may include the statement "Mail Order Only" or "Not for Retail Sale." The product in these packages is exactly the same as the others. The manufacturer would hope that you purchase the much more expensive "Retail Packaging," allowing them to realize a greater profit while you, the consumer, struggles and pays more. These packages are all billable to Medicare.
- Health-Plan/Point-of-Care/Medicare/Insurance: Although this package is marked for Medicare and/or Insurance Use, it may also state Not for Retail Sale. The majority of these packages allow billing with NDC numbers and all are accepted by Medicare and many private insurance companies.
- International Packages: This product may be labeled as "Not for sale in US" and may also have multiple languages with English included. (English is always a required language for sale in the United States). These packages are suitable to market and there are many products that have Multi-Lingual packaging sold everyday in pharmacies, markets and stores across the U.S.A., many times at significant savings to both the store and consumer.
Although manufacturers use language to discourage companies from purchasing and selling these more profitable packages, there is no reason for us not to take advantage of the lower priced packs and pass on the savings to the consumer.
The product contained in each vial is identical, regardless of the outer packaging. Alternate packs are billable through Medicare and most private insurance companies and they are calibrated the same to be used in their corresponding meters. Plain and simple, there is no difference in the products or functionality.
FamilyOTC.comwill utilize these alternative packages when ever possible so that we can pass on the savings of meters and test strips to our customers.