Getting ready to move to OmniPod and I have a few more questions for you wise folks!

(1) Are you using the OmniPod meter as your blood glucose meter? If not, why not? Are there any cons to using the Freestyle strips?
I've been using the Accuchek Compact for years and like not having to insert test strips. The strips that come with the OmniPod will cost me more out of pocket (with insurance) than the Accuchek strips but not alot more. On the other hand, not having to carry a separate meter would be a great convenience.

(2) If I use the Freestyle strips which would be sent to me through the 3rd party supplier, are these strips available through a regular pharmacy if I need to buy more than insurance provides?

(3) How do you dispose of your used pods?

Thanks guys!

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Replies to This Discussion

(1) Are you using the OmniPod meter as your blood glucose meter? If not, why not? Are there any cons to using the Freestyle strips?

I stopped using the OmniPod PDM as my blood glucose meter when I was told, in no uncertain terms, by many who were experts in insulin pumps, that I must stop doing so. I'm not going to enter this debate - I was planning on using a separate blood glucose meter anyway. I use the FreeStyle Lite, which is tiny. I love the Lite test strips. Plus, because my personal computer is a Mac, I can upload the readings from my blood glucose meter into my iPhone via Glooko.

I have experienced no cons with the FreeStyle strips. I love the new strips very, very much.

When I heard about the announcement that the FDA cleared FreeStyle test strips for the PDM, I decided to continue using my FreeStyle Lite blood glucose meter.

Even with the OmniPod PDM, you'd have to insert strips. However, you are correct, you won't have to carry around a separate blood glucose meter. That said, the FreeStyle Lite is so tiny. On the other hand, if you use a PC rather than a Mac, then using your PDM as a blood glucose meter would make more sense since you can download the results.

(2) If I use the Freestyle strips which would be sent to me through the 3rd party supplier, are these strips available through a regular pharmacy if I need to buy more than insurance provides?

I do not know.

(3) How do you dispose of your used pods?

How I dispose of used OmniPods depends on where I am and my mood. If I'm out and I'm lazy, I just throw out all of my trash in the regular trash. However, if I'm in a slightly more conscientious mood, I'll wrap my used OmniPod and syringe in a few layers of paper towel and either dispose of it in the trashcan or put it in my murse to throw out at home.

At home, I throw everything in the regular trashcan.

(1) I use the Omnipod meter as my primary meter to save the extra step of entering the data from a separate meter.
Omnipod just sent out a note today on their podwatch email list indicating the new zipwick Freestyle strips from Abbott are now FDA approved in the UST200 PDM.

It is also on their web site here:

http://www.myomnipod.com/test-strip-update/

Some people have noticed that the new Freestyle zip wick strips read a little lower than the old Freestyle strips that Abbott stopped making.

(2) The Freestyle strips are widely available in pharmacies everywhere - including my local pharmacy and places like Walmart. I get them by mail via my mail pharmacy supplier (Medco last year, Caremark this year)

(3) Right now I am sending the pods back to Insulet for recycling. You send 50 at a time back in a mailer (which you pay a nominal fee for). The books says you can dispose of them via whatever procedure your municiplaity has for medical waste.
(In my area, this is by putting them in a plastic jar, putting the lid on, and putting in the trash). Since there are batteries in the pod, this may not be the most environmentally safe way.

Thanks so much for your comments. I did not realize that there had been an issue with the test strips and FDA approval when I asked the question. The information you've given me here helps greatly!

It was a temporary situation where Abbott changed the strips to a new design, and went through the paperwork to get their own meters approved for the updated strips. Insulet then had to go through the same process. There was a period of months when the old strip supply dried up and the new strips were not approved where "officially" the only solution was an external meter. Insulet started shipping external Freestyle meters with new orders. I expect that will end now.

The main issue you will find people complaining about is that the new strips seem to read about 10 points lower for some people. Some have tried using different codes in the meter to compensate this out. None of this is officially sanctioned :-). Recall also that ALL home meters are not that accurate (or precise).... as others have said the FDA allows +/- 20%. So... as with most things with diabetes, your mileage may vary. People tend to think that because the meter reads out 3 digits...that it is accurate to three digits. It ain't . 104 means you are somewhere in a range near 104, with some probability.

You can see this on the label for the strips....with a normal reference solution, any value between 83 and 125 is considered correct operation, where the mean value is 104.

Thanks HPNpilot, I'm not too concerned as long as it's within the 20%. I get that now with my Accuchek from one hand to the other. This explanation is really helpful.

1) I do not use my pod as my regular BG meter, mostly because it sems to wear out the batteries faster. I don't find it to be any less precise than my Accucheck. If I do multiple readings, say, for pre-breakfast, they will all be close to each other. They may not nessarily be the same as my Accuchek, but they will be within +/- 20%.

2) They are, but I don't get them through my pharmacy unless it's an absolute emergency. I use Freestyle strips for the Freestyle meter that came with the starter kit because my insurance does not allocate enough strips for my Accucheck. They do not even cover the Freestyle strips. However, when I do run out of my Accucheck strips, I purchase extra strips. It so happens that I can buy Freestyle strips for much cheaper than Accucheck strips through American Diabetes Wholesale. Anything I could purchase at a pharmace seems to te a lot cheaper through them.

3) No comment, but it generally involves a big carbboard box. Insulet has a program where they will recycle your pods, but it will actually cost you money.

Thanks FHS, I currently use Accuchek also. I was wondering about battery life of the PDM. I too end up buying strips online at ADW because of the darn insurance caps on strips. I checked prices at my local pharmacy this weekend and the Freestyle strips were about $5 more than the Accuchek so basically even. They are about the same price on ADW. However, I would have to get the Freestyle strips through the 3rd party supplier due to insurance and the cost through them is about $6/month - so again pretty close.

We use the OmniPod with the Zipwik strips.

We make Christmas ornaments of used Pods. :)

Hi Lorraine, what are Zipwik strips? Is that a brand? Love the idea of the ornaments - so cute!

I only use the pdm as my meter and have since starting a couple years ago. I know they weren't technically "approved" but they worked just fine and now they're "approved" so there you go. Why would I want to carry around yet another piece of equipment and then have to log it into my pdm?! I LOVE the strips, best Ive ever used. You can re-load if you don't get enough of a sample the first time and it takes next to nothing as far as a sample size to get a reading.
I am having a heck of a time finding a supplier for these strips, though. I have to go through a DME supplier and out of a half dozen or so places I have found one that supplies them. Don't know about a local pharmacy but it sounds like they might be easy to find, I would make some calls. Be sure to be clear about which strips that you need because there's always confusion; lites, classic, butterfly.... yeesh! Some carry one but not the others.
I forgot about the recycle so I usually just through them in the trash, same as I would my empty vial of insulin. Although I'm thinking maybe I should take out the batteries first.

The batteries are what made me ask the question...although I've thrown batteries in the garbage too. Just wondered how others handle it. Thanks!

1. Yes, I use the omnipid pdm and I love the strips because they require so little blood.
2. I think your question is if they arew available at pharmacies. In that case, yes; I have gotten strips at riteaid and cvs.
3. I save them in a box for the enjoyment of seeing how many I've used.

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