Meters 'fine' diabetics told

Diabetics are urged not to worry if their new blood-glucose meters have a reading that differs by 20 per cent from their old meters.

Pharmac funds three Care Sens meters, which are understood to be the models causing concern among diabetics. The meters monitor glucose levels.

Some of the readings measured by CareSens meters have been up to 20 per cent above or below readings from other models.

However, Diabetes NZ national president Chris Baty said the discrepancy is not something diabetics should read too much into.

The level of accuracy from the CareSens meters has met international standards, she said.

"These meters have been tested and found to be within the margin of acceptability for accuracy. What is regarded as accurate is within 20 per cent, plus or minus."

Mrs Baty has not seen any data of concern.

"The only data I've seen is that these meters have been tested and met international standards."

A Pharmac spokesperson said none of the blood-glucose meters is 100 per cent accurate. Pharmac was often asked what people should do if their old meter and new meter gave different results.

Pharmac's response to that question was: "It is possible that two blood-glucose meters will give different results, even if they are the same model from the same manufacturer. This does not mean either of the meters is wrong."

It also says that a hand-held testing device can never be as accurate as a laboratory test.

Anyone who is worried that their meter is not testing accurately can check it at their local pharmacy. For more information visit:

The Timaru Herald