Why are diabetic test strips so expensive?

These tiny little test strips that cost approximately $0.15 to produce are projected to become an almost $13 billion dollar global market by 2021.

So why are test strips so expensive when they’re relatively inexpensive to make? What the $0.15 production cost does not factor in is the intensive research done to perfect the strip itself to ensure it works correctly.

A diabetic test strip is composed of several layers with each layer performing a specific function. Every brand has its own unique product, but essentially these are the functions that each layer serves:

  • The top layer absorbs your blood sample. It’s important that just the right amount of blood is filtered down to the next layer — too much or too little blood may result in an inaccurate reading.
  • The middle layers filter and direct the blood sample to the areas where the chemical reaction will take place.
  • The layer just above the bottom contains the enzymes and chemicals (and their corresponding preservatives) needed to produce the blood glucose reaction.
  • The bottom layer has a gold and palladium coated circuit that sends the blood, enzyme and chemical reaction electrons to the blood glucose meter for analysis.

While diabetic test strips may not look like much, they are the result of extensive research and require high quality elements to ensure their accuracy.