Time for Singapore- produced glucose strips

Diabetes is a life-long disease that is costly to treat and which affects the old and the young. As our population ages, one in three will be diabetic.

Treating diabetes will take up a great part of the health budget.

Where possible we should encourage diabetics to carry out blood-sugar tests at home without seeing a doctor, thus saving time and money.

But in order to do this, we need a glucose meter, glucose strips, alcohol swabs and lancets to prick our finger. The commercial cost of the glucose strip alone is between 80 cents and $1 each. This test is not subsidised by the Government so it would cost about $75 a month if one were to test three times a day. Strangely, the glucose strips from the different pharmaceutical companies all cost the same, making one wonder if there is a cartel in operation.

Isn't it time that local research and development bodies, like A-Star, come up with a cheaper, locally produced glucose strip?

This would lead to a fall in retail prices. With access to cheaper glucose strips, diabetic patients in Singapore would be able to monitor their blood sugar levels, and thus their health.

Ronald Lee Yew Kee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2017, with the headline 'Time for Singapore- produced glucose strips'. Print Edition | Subscribe