The Ministry of Health has considered all of the views surrounding the proposed change in distribution of diabetes testing strips and has reached a policy position.

Effective March 1, 2016, the Ministry of Health, through the Barbados Drug Service, will be facilitating the distribution of one bottle of diabetes testing strips, monthly, to diabetics who are on Insulin treatment, at no charge.

However, those diabetics who are managed by oral medication, diet and or exercise, will be allowed one bottle of testing strips every three months, at no charge to the patient.

The Ministry of Health wishes to restate that diabetes testing, though a fair indicator of diabetic control, is not the definitive test of the status of one???s diabetes. The HBAIC is the most reliable test and is recommended to be done at intervals as required by the physician.

The public should be aware that, like all other treatments, the Ministry of Health will continue to monitor changes in the protocols for the management of diabetes and, when appropriate, will adjust its programmes and protocols in keeping with evidence-based practice. When such changes are necessary, adequate notice will be given so that patients and medical practitioners can facilitate adjustments.

Additionally, the Ministry of Health apologises to the Chairman and Members of the Drug Formulary Committee for any statements or impressions which would have conveyed a message that the change was the decision or action of the Committee.

The Drug Formulary Committee has served the Ministry of Health and the people of Barbados well and its advice is respected. However, the change was not made nor recommended by the Drug Formulary Committee.

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