Blood glucose testing
BC PharmaCare limits the number of blood glucose test strips it covers for a patient each calendar year. The amount is based on the diabetes treatment they are receiving.
The annual limits provide enough strips to account for normal variations in self-monitoring of blood glucose necessitated by common health changes (e.g., colds, influenza).
Research shows that most people with type 2 diabetes who are not using insulin do not need to test their blood sugar routinely, as there is little evidence that frequent self-monitoring of blood glucose without a medically valid reason improves diabetes care.
Important: If a patient belongs to more than one category, and is not using a CGM, the higher limit will apply.
In certain circumstances, more testing is warranted, resulting in a need for more strips than a patient's annual limit.
If a patient meets one of the criteria below and is not on insulin or is a patient using a CGM, PharmaCare covers 100 extra strips per year with a Special Authority request from a prescriber or health professional at a diabetes education centre or authorized primary care network.
Criteria for additional test strips
- Not met glycemic targets, as determined by a physician, for three months or more
- An acute illness or co-morbidities, which may impact blood glucose control
- Had changes in drug therapy that may impact blood glucose control (e.g., starting or stopping medications that induce hypo- or hyperglycemia, drug-to-drug or drug-disease interactions)
- A job where hypoglycemia presents a significant safety risk (e.g., pilots, air traffic controllers, commercial drivers)
- Gestational diabetes
Additional test strips for a pediatric patient under Nursing Support Services using a CGM may be requested at the time of initial CGM request or with a CGM renewal request (using the CGM Special Authority request form).
Note: In the rare case that a patient has a medical need for even more frequent testing, or when a patient on insulin needs to test more frequently, an endocrinologist may submit a written request to PharmaCare for additional strips. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. The letter should outline the need for the additional strips and the quantity required.
- See Limited Coverage Medical Supplies - Blood Glucose Test Strips for Special Authority criteria and form
- Diabetes Canada
- Blood sugar testing
- Monitoring blood pressure and foot health
- Developing an action plan
- PharmaCare patient information sheets in multiple languages. Tips for testing blood sugar and managing type 2 diabetes
- Diabetes educators, nurse practitioners, pharmacists at HealthLinkBC. Dial 8-1-1
Special Authority criteria and forms:
Blood glucose testing: