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Consumer Council warns diabetic patients to compare prices

June 24, 2015 1:15 am

The Consumer Council of Fiji is urging all diabetic patients to do comparative shopping when buying sugar testing machines and strips.

This comes in light after a survey was carried out amongst twenty pharmacies in Suva, Lautoka and Labasa which found that the costs for machines were much less than the strips which are used daily for testing, monitoring and controlling blood sugar level.

The survey also found at certain pharmacies outdated machines, strips that were not compatible with machines being sold, and strips close to expiry.

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Consumer Council Chief Executive, Premila Kumar said they were shocked at the results of the survey.

‘We found that in some cases the machines were very cheap but the strips were expensive. If you buy a machine for $33, the latest one is $23, that’s the cheapest, a $23 machine, you’ll be paying something like $79 for the strip. Now machine is one time buy but strips you’ll need all the time, so $79 for strips, that’s ridiculous’’.

The Consumer Council is urging shoppers to take advantage of the Government pharmacies where they can buy the machines and strips at a reasonable price.

The Council is also calling on the State to consider reducing fiscal duty to zero per cent on the two items, in the next budget as these are crucial for diabetes patients.

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