Size does matter!

So I usually fill my Rx for BD test strips every 6 - 8 weeks and it was going on about 7 weeks since my last refill and I was running desperately low on test strips. So I called my pharmacy, placed the order and was told they would have it by Tuesday. Yesterday rolls around and I go in, pick up my large bag of test strips briefly wondering why the bag was even bulkier than usual. I shrugged it off. Well, time to start a new vial of test strips and I open my bulky bag taking note that the boxes of test strips are a lot larger now and no longer in the shape of a cube.
Strange, I think but again set this thought aside. That is until I am opening the new BD test strip box and notice that it only says 50 strips instead of 100 like before. And sure enough, instead of 4 cube shaped boxes there are eight rectangular boxes.
Odd, why would they make larger boxes? Then the little red circle catches my eye..."New larger vial!" is printed on the front of the box. My heart sinks then my temperature rises when I am done opening the box.
Are you kidding me?!?!?!!
Not only is the vial larger, its triple the size of the previous vials! The new vial can hold the old vial inside of it! Look!
Its like a damn pill bottle!! Its HUGE!!!
Okay, I understand, a lot of elderly people and children are using these products and with the old, smaller vial people couldn't get their fingers inside to get the strip out; I remember thinking that too when I got the meter with the pump in December of 2005. Then I grew to love, absolutely adore the smaller test strip vial because I could easily carry an extra one with me in my purse, gym bag, pocket wherever, with no worry of how much space its taking up. I became to appreciate that my test strips were more discrete like my pump and not taking injections. Not anymore!

I am sure this is for the best of most patients who use BD meters and the MiniMed Paradigm meter, but I am still displeased by the change. I mean...Its obnoxiously big now. It doesn't fit the old case that my meter was in, the case is designed for the smaller vial (notice the obscene vial above and blocking where the strip needs to go for a fresh test and sample).

Fortunately, BD foresaw this problem and are shipping me a new meter case and 50 free strips in the new, insanely large vial. I'm thinking that with a larger vial is an even larger case...I may need a new purse, my current purse barely fits all my "purse" and diabetes things!

I'll just stash my meter in my adult diaper bag with my granny panties, thank you! Who needs a normal sized purse when you have diabetes? Sheesh...


Lili said...

Is it really because of older people, or is it that they have to make it at a different factory since BD's getting out of the strip business, I wonder.

Scott said...

Actually, its probably not best for most people with diabetes, but it is better for large retailers (notably Wal-Mart).

There was an interesting article in May 21, 2007 edition of The Wall Street Journal about how Wal-Mart had pressured Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Henkel/Dial (maker of Purex detergents) to drastically reduce the size of its detergent bottles with supposedly ultra-concentrated detergents so they could fit more on the shelves and restock less frequently, and hopefully sell more in the process.

I would venture to guess that the BD test strip vial development had something to do with the major drug distributors (Medco, Caremark, McKesson, etc.) and making it easier for them to track inventory and fit them it their warehouses than it did with any consumer preference!

Gary said...

Can you tell me more about these bd test strips. My son was just diagnosed with diabetes, and I don't understand what these are for. The nurse didn't explain it very well, and I was too proud to admit that I didn't understand her. Can you put this description into layman's terms?