Changing your test strip prescription

Your guide to a positive conversation with your GP to secure your Contour®Next test strips.

With smarter, accurate testing at your fingertips you can be confident that your CONTOUR®NEXT ONE gives you outstanding accuracy and advanced features to help you manage your diabetes every time you test. If you aren’t already a Contour®Next strip user, this section will guide you through how to talk with your GP about changing your repeat test strip prescription to CONTOUR®NEXT test strips, with helpful advice from other patients and links to useful resources.

What to do now

1

Read this guide

2

Use the For your doctor card that came with your meter.

3

If your doctor wants to see you in person, make an appointment

4

If you are unsure what to say at your appointment, use our interactive guide to prepare.

Important
CONTOUR NEXT test strips are used with the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE meter.
PIP code: 368-2119
(If your GP needs to identify the correct test strips for you on their system)

Don't run out while waiting for your appointment or would rather buy the strips?

Buy more strips here.

How other CONTOUR®NEXT ONE users got their strips
Read their stories

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Two patients needing new strips... two very different stories

Everyone has a different diabetes journey, even when it comes to getting new strips. These stories, featuring Mary and John, show that being confident in yourself and your meter along with a little research can help your GP understand why you've chosen the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE.

Left Column Story

It was plain sailing for John

"I showed my GP the meter and my results, and he agreed."

John, 45, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 2 years ago. He wanted a meter that would really help him reach his target more often.

Right Column Story

A little research pays dividends for Mary

Mary has type 1 diabetes. When she asked about having her prescription changed to Contour®Next strips, she was told that this wouldn't be possible due to funding cuts. Mary persevered and persuaded the practice diabetes nurse to speak to the GP after sharing her experience of her new CONTOUR®NEXT ONE.

"I arranged to meet with my doctor to review my medication. I showed him the meter and my results and he agreed to switch me. From previous experience, the only way I can get the prescription changed is by meeting with my doctor."

Like many patients, John didn't face any objections when he asked for his prescription to be changed. He showed his doctor how his CONTOUR®NEXT ONE was making a difference to his health.

"After even just a few tests, I could see how easy the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE is to use and how it works with my phone. Before I asked for my strips to be changed, I showed my GP my results in the Contour® Diabetes app on my phone to show how it was helping me to manage my diabetes better. To anyone wanting to have their test strip changed, I would say talk with your doctor and or your practice diabetes nurse."

Be confident and positive

Explain which features you like most and how they help you. For example, you could say something like "the second-chance testing saves me time now that I don't have to retest. That means I don't waste any test strips, which could also save the NHS money".

"I made an appointment with the practice diabetes nurse at my doctor's surgery to discuss my medication and not being able to get my CONTOUR®NEXT testing strips."

"The nurse explained that it was due to cuts in the NHS and that under new guidelines they weren't allowed to issue me these."

"I'd already been using the app and meter for a week, when I visited the nurse. I showed her my information and the data in the app and she was impressed with the results. When she shared them with my GP he agreed that the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE was helping me manage my diabetes better and changed my prescription."

So what does Mary feel made the difference?

"I strongly feel that I got the message across because I was determined to prove that these testing strips benefit me and my condition. I advise others with the same issues to do their research and see their practice diabetes nurse or GP."

Guidelines: guidance, not strict rules

Changes to local formulary guidelines are often given as a reason for not changing a prescription. But they are only guidelines – even if your strips aren't on a list your doctor can still prescribe them. So don't feel awkward about discussing your needs with your GP, or explaining why you think the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE is the best meter for you. After all, the cost of any complications from your diabetes would be a lot higher than the difference in cost between two types of test strip.

Two patients needing new strips... two very different stories

Everyone has a different diabetes journey, even when it comes to getting new strips. These stories, featuring Mary and John, show that being confident in yourself and your meter along with a little research can help your GP understand why you've chosen the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE.

Left Column Story

It was plain sailing for John

"I showed my GP the meter and my results, and he agreed."

John, 45, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 2 years ago. He wanted a meter that would really help him reach his target more often.

"I arranged to meet with my doctor to review my medication. I showed him the meter and my results and he agreed to switch me. From previous experience, the only way I can get the prescription changed is by meeting with my doctor."

Like many patients, John didn't face any objections when he asked for his prescription to be changed. He showed his doctor how his CONTOUR®NEXT ONE was making a difference to his health.

"After even just a few tests, I could see how easy the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE is to use and how it works with my phone. Before I asked for my strips to be changed, I showed my GP my results in the Contour® Diabetes app on my phone to show how it was helping me to manage my diabetes better. To anyone wanting to have their test strip changed, I would say talk with your doctor and or your practice diabetes nurse."

Be confident and positive

Explain which features you like most and how they help you. For example, you could say something like "the second-chance testing saves me time now that I don't have to retest. That means I don't waste any test strips, which could also save the NHS money".

Right Column Story

A little research pays dividends for Mary

Mary has type 1 diabetes. When she asked about having her prescription changed to Contour®Next strips, she was told that this wouldn't be possible due to funding cuts. Mary persevered and persuaded the practice diabetes nurse to speak to the GP after sharing her experience of her new CONTOUR®NEXT ONE.

"I made an appointment with the practice diabetes nurse at my doctor's surgery to discuss my medication and not being able to get my CONTOUR®NEXT testing strips."

"The nurse explained that it was due to cuts in the NHS and that under new guidelines they weren't allowed to issue me these."

"I'd already been using the app and meter for a week, when I visited the nurse. I showed her my information and the data in the app and she was impressed with the results. When she shared them with my GP he agreed that the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE was helping me manage my diabetes better and changed my prescription."

So what does Mary feel made the difference?

"I strongly feel that I got the message across because I was determined to prove that these testing strips benefit me and my condition. I advise others with the same issues to do their research and see their practice diabetes nurse or GP."

Guidelines: guidance, not strict rules

Changes to local formulary guidelines are often given as a reason for not changing a prescription. But they are only guidelines – even if your strips aren't on a list your doctor can still prescribe them. So don't feel awkward about discussing your needs with your GP, or explaining why you think the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE is the best meter for you. After all, the cost of any complications from your diabetes would be a lot higher than the difference in cost between two types of test strip.

Talking with your doctor

Continuing your CONTOUR NEXT ONE experience

What to tell your doctor when requesting strips

Is it the increased confidence you feel from using a fast and accurate meter? Is it the seamless integration with your smartphone? Maybe it's instant feedback on your readings from your meter's smartLIGHTTM feature? Whatever makes the biggest different to you, be sure to tell your doctor when having your prescription changed.

Be confident in yourself – you’ve chosen an outstanding meter

Explain the difference that your meter has made to your diabetes management

Be committed to managing your diabetes as well as you possibly can

Understand that you are entitled to have the meter that works best for you

Describe if it has made a difference to your engagement when you have a meter which you can really engage with

A small rise in the cost of your test strips far outweighs the financial burden of a diabetes-related health incident. Your engagement in managing your diabetes can outweigh this

Inspire yourself with the stories of other CONTOUR®NEXT ONE users before you go

What else should you say?

This guide will help you

Useful sources of information and help

Useful sources of information and help

INPUT is an organisation which supports access to diabetes technology in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They offer useful advice on your rights as a patient.

http://www.inputdiabetes.org.uk/nhs-constitution/

http://www.inputdiabetes.org.uk/bgm/

Diabetes UK is a leading charity who’s vision is a world where diabetes can do no harm . Their recent Testing Times campaign aims to promote the idea that all patients should be able to be prescribed the right amount of test strips for their individual needs. Their website contains a lot of useful information, including advice on talking with your doctor.

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Managing-your-diabetes/Interactions-with-healthcare-professionals/

NICE – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence last updated its Quality Standard 6 (QS6) on diabetes in adults in August 2016. It has advice on what constitutes good quality care for people with diabetes.

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs6

NICE Guideline 28 (NG28) stipulates the need to support people with type 2 diabetes in self-managing their blood glucose especially if that person is on insulin or another drug that could cause hypoglycaemia. Having access to a meter that works for you is part of this.

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG28

What if your doctor says “no”?

What if your doctor says "no"?

This section describes things some people with diabetes have heard from their doctor when they have asked to change their test strip prescription. Offering an alternative viewpoint, or mentioning NICE guidelines and recommendations, may also convince your doctor to give you a new prescription.

Common objections you may hear:

It’s true that local health authorities operate under budgetary constraints – which includes how much they can spend on test strips. But there is often flexibility in this and most doctors are happy to consider each request on a patient-by-patient basis. This is referred to by the NHS as ‘patient-centred care’.

  • Explain to your doctor how the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE’s features – such as fast, convenient testing and remarkable accuracy – give you reassurance every time you test.
  • Explain how the Second-Chance™ sampling feature reduces the wastage of strips and the inconvenience of having to repeat finger prick.
  • Mention how this helps with your long-term glucose control.

It’s also worth saying that although some strips cost a little more than basic alternatives, there is an ongoing financial benefit in helping you to self-manage well.

It’s true that your local Primary Care organisation/Health Board/Clinical Commissioning group will have a list of preferred meters, referred to as a ‘formulary’. But formularies typically give guidance on when it may be appropriate to choose something else – rather than advising on which meter might be right for you.

Many meters on approved lists are selected primarily on price, which doesn’t take into account your wishes and needs.

  • Say that formulary lists are purely guidelines and that the doctor can still give you the strips you need for your chosen meter.
  • Remind your doctor of the benefits of the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE
    • The smartLIGHTTM feature for instant feedback on your readings
    • Second-ChanceTM sampling so you don’t need to use another strip or re-prick your finger if there’s not enough blood on the strip at first
    • Automatic sync and log of your readings for smarter diabetes management
    • 90-day summaries which you can share with your doctor
  • Remarkable accuracy to make informed decisions
  • Tell them which features are most valuable to you in terms of your overall blood glucose management.
  • Mention the NHS principle of “No decision about me without me”

It’s only fair that you have a meter that works for you and helps you manage your blood glucose effectively. The NHS has a principle of involving patients in decisions about their health, so don’t be afraid to ask for the strips for the meter you want.

Meters are improving all the time. The CONTOUR®NEXT ONE and CONTOUR®DIABETES smartphone app can make a real difference to your glucose control.

  • Remind you doctor why you chose the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE
    • The smartLIGHTTM feature for instant feedback on your readings
    • Second-ChanceTM sampling so you don’t need to use another strip or re-prick your finger if there’s insufficient blood on the strip
    • Automatic sync and log of your readings for smarter diabetes management
    • 90-day summaries which you can share with your doctor
  • Remarkable accuracy to make informed decisions
  • Outline the reasons why you prefer this meter over your old one
  • Tell them which features are most valuable in helping you with your blood glucose management.
  • Mention the NHS principle of “No decision about me without me”

This may well be the case, but it doesn’t take into account your wishes. Nor does it recognise the fact that the price of test strips is much lower than the potential cost of managing a hypo or other consequence of either inaccurate readings or a lower standard of blood glucose management.

  • Mention the NHS principle of “No decision about me without me”
  • Direct your doctor to NICE document QS6 on care for people with diabetes and NG28 (page 20, 1.6.13) which encourages self-monitoring in people with type 2 diabetes especially if those people are on insulin or other drugs that can cause hypoglycaemia.

Your doctor might offer you a cheaper alternative to your CONTOUR®NEXT ONE. If they tell you that the cheaper meter is as good as your CONTOUR®NEXT ONE, ask if it comes with all these features as standard:

  • Accuracy levels which, in independent tests, are proven to be closer to laboratory standards than most other meters – giving you added confidence and reassurance every time you test. Although there are accuracy guidelines in place for blood glucose meters (EN ISO 15197:2015) there is no requirement to have independent data to support the manufacturer's claims. As there are varying degrees of accuracy for meters available ask your GP for independent data to support the meter being offered to you.

    CONTOUR®NEXT ONE has remarkable accuracy and we have independent data to support this1
  • Second-ChanceTM sampling which lets you reapply more blood to the same test strip in case of insufficient blood, without having to use a new strip or prick your finger again
  • Instant colour-coded feedback on your blood glucose readings thanks to smartLIGHTTM
  • smartALERTSTM to quickly warn you if your levels are critically high or low.
  • Automatic sync and log of your readings for smarter diabetes management
  • 90-day summaries which you can share with your doctor

Sometimes people with diabetes find their GP practice may try to ration their test strips in the interest of cost-saving. If this happens to you, and you feel that the number of Contour® Next test strips you are being allowed won’t let you confidently manage your diabetes, you should share your concerns with your doctor or nurse.

  • Explain that frequent testing will help reduce your risk of having a hypo.
  • Tell your doctor that you need to be confident that you are testing frequently enough to manage your diabetes confidently.
  • If the thought of having your strips restricted causes you additional stress, say so.
  • Mention the reasons why you chose the CONTOUR®NEXT ONE and explain that you need to have enough strips to get the most from your new meter’s features.

You're entitled to have a say

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You’re entitled to have a say

NHS guidelines mean you have the right to have a say in which meter you use

In July 2012, the NHS published a document called “Liberating the NHS: No decision about me, without me”. Its aim was, and still is, to be sensitive to patients’ needs and wishes, and to let them share in the decision making about long-term conditions.

Diabetes is one such condition. As you know, living with diabetes is a very personal thing. So you need to be happy with the meter you use along with the treatment you are prescribed and how you are treated as an individual.

In “Liberating the NHS: No decision about me, without me” the NHS recently said that people should be “empowered to shape and manage their own health and care and make meaningful choices”. 

So when you’re speaking to your GP about changing your prescription, remember that you have the right to have a say in the meter you use. Have the confidence to say how you feel and what you think is right for you.

 

Ascensia, the Ascensia Diabetes Care logo, Contour, Microlet, Glucofacts, the No Coding logo, and Second-Chance are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Ascensia Diabetes Care Holdings AG.

Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.  App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Ascensia Diabetes Care is under license.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

© Copyright 2017 Ascensia Diabetes Care Holdings AG. All rights reserved.

Date of preparation: December 2017. Code: 11/12/2017/microcno