31 Responses

  1. Scott E
    Scott E February 25, 2014 at 5:54 am | | Reply

    If Abbott thinks 400 strips can be a reasonable 3-month replenishment supply (just over 4/day), I think they need to talk to their partners at Insulet and some members of the medical community a little more closely. For a non-pumper, I can see it happening, but for a pumper that seems a bit low.

  2. Sarah - Sugabetic (@SugabeticMe)
    Sarah - Sugabetic (@SugabeticMe) February 25, 2014 at 6:16 am | | Reply

    I was thinking exactly what Scott E was. 400 is more like 1-2 months for some, not 3-4, especially if you are using them in the Omnipod PDM. I honestly think they should re-evaluate that part and if they want to replaced based on a 3-month supply, obtaining a copy of the RX from the customer’s doctor to show the prescribed amount should be used and that should determine the amount replaced, not just a figure they’ve decided on.

  3. Leighann
    Leighann February 25, 2014 at 6:49 am | | Reply

    A. You actually have to be home to sign for the letter. You can’t leave your signature for redelivery. I’m sure our letter will be returned because I wasn’t home to sign for it. Seems like a major flaw in their notification process.

    B. They do not need to know your endo, pharmacy, insurance info. I didn’t give it. Several customers have said that when asked for it they were told it was so Abbott could sell directly to them in the future. Because of this (whether it’s true or not) some are saying this is fishy.

    C. 400 strips won’t last us long. I just refilled our 90 day supply.

    D. I asked for a Freedom meter and was told no. My shipment of strips neither came with control solution or a meter I could actually use.

    E. One of the major advantages of OmniPod, especially for children, is the built in meter.

    F. A parent called in this morning because the replacement strips seemed to read wrong in their PDM and she wanted help. She was told they would not troubleshoot their strips in the PDM.

    G. Don’t we have enough to deal with?

    1. AmyT
      AmyT February 25, 2014 at 8:06 am | | Reply

      @Leighann – thanks for the feedback about letter delivery, etc.

      One question: why is the OmniPod’s built-in meter a disadvantage? It works great for some folks (me included) and of course you don’t *have* to use it — you could easily use a separate meter like other pumpers do, and just rely on the OP to deliver insulin.

      1. Leighann
        Leighann February 25, 2014 at 9:14 am | | Reply

        It’s a huge ADVANTAGE. (Typed original comment on my phone so maybe I didn’t word it properly.)

        Using the built in PDM is an advantage for kids because they can use it to calculate boluses. Less math = good

        Being told to use our existing strips with a different meter (which Abbott wouldn’t even send me) negates the benefit of having the built in meter and could lead to errors since the BG has to be entered by hand.

        Ideally we would have accurate, safe strips that work with the PDM.

        1. AmyT
          AmyT February 25, 2014 at 2:04 pm |

          Ah gotcha! thanks Leighann.

    2. Joanne Moldt
      Joanne Moldt February 28, 2014 at 11:25 am | | Reply

      Im with scott and Leighann

      I get 900 strips every 3 months from express scripts for my daughter ,so they need to replace all those strips no?
      I was told to call in when I run out of the 400 (which will last us 9 weeks) and they will send more. and when I get my next order from express scripts will they have the right expiration date on them? Shouldn’t Abbott be going directly to our suppliers and changing out the inventory?

    3. Natasha
      Natasha February 28, 2014 at 7:24 pm | | Reply

      If you call the other number – meant for freestyle flash owners – they will send you a freestyle freedom meter. I tried twice with the Omnipod line and was refused, but as soon as I called the other number (which had almost no hold time . . .) they sent me a new freedom meter. Got it in the mail today.

  4. Karen
    Karen February 25, 2014 at 6:51 am | | Reply

    I first heard about this on the ‘Mine. Haven’t received either letter from Insulet or Abbott yet. Very disappointed!

  5. Leighann
    Leighann February 25, 2014 at 6:55 am | | Reply


    I would be happy to send back each and every recalled test strip we have so that each and every recalled test strip can be replaced. We use 10 strips a day, you can do the math. And if the strips are recalled, it’s unfair to customers not to replace every purchased test strip in a timely fashion.

  6. Louise
    Louise February 25, 2014 at 6:57 am | | Reply

    Just got off the phone with Abbott after multiple attempts to get through, once on hold for over an hour. The rep I spoke with said that she “thought” the recall line was open from 8am to 11pm (I am EST and I forgot to ask about other time zones). Was also told by Abbott that strips with an expiration of 8/15 or later are fine.

  7. Marloes
    Marloes February 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm | | Reply

    I’ve read about this last week already, but in Europe they waited until TODAY to notice all customers.

  8. Susan Casey
    Susan Casey February 25, 2014 at 3:29 pm | | Reply

    So I got the recall notice, called the company, and was told 400 strips will arrive in 2 days. What to do in the meantime? I have no other meters and no “control solution” they reference. Talked to a supervisor and was told to keep using their faulty test strips (which I was to immediately discontinue using moments earlier) until the new strips arrive. I repeated what they said back to them – yup! That’s their party line. Unbelievable. Guess I’ll just take a whole bunch of readings with their faulty strips and average the numbers…

  9. Judi
    Judi February 25, 2014 at 4:33 pm | | Reply

    I have multiple Flash meters and called the number you have above today. I got right through, so maybe all the hold time is on the number for Pod users. I asked for two Freedom and three FreeStyle Lite meters as replacements. They said that wasn’t a problem and they would be to me by Friday. Very easy and they didn’t hassle me at all.

  10. Colleen
    Colleen February 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm | | Reply

    1 hour and 20 minutes on hold and the line went dead.

  11. Julie
    Julie February 25, 2014 at 7:25 pm | | Reply

    I’m so grateful for websites like yours! I wouldn’t have known about this if I didn’t check diabetes blogs. I tried to call twice today, and spent a lot of time on hold before finally giving up.

    What I’m most confused about is the lack of information in the letter. Are ALL freestyle strips bad? I have to buy mine out of pocket (because CVS Caremark is the worst company ever), and I just spent over $200 on 5 vials right before I read about the recall.

    So frustrating, but it’s nice to know that there are others who are in it as well!

    Thank you for the information!

  12. Sarah M.
    Sarah M. February 25, 2014 at 8:56 pm | | Reply

    Regarding the Control Solution, in the past, I’ve been able to get it from Abbott at no cost. You have to call their main Customer Service Number, but it’ll get to you in a few day.

    The other route is to call your local retail pharmacy & they can order it, and have it in a day or two (if they don’t already have it in-stock). Two little boxes, for a total of four tubes of the Control Solution, cost me a little over $15 out-of-pocket.

  13. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth February 26, 2014 at 6:50 am | | Reply

    Well get this…I received my replacement strips Monday, and have done a number of cross-checks (all using the same drop of blood) both with my old strips and a One Touch. In most cases the strips were well within 20%, but in one of the approximately 20 tests I’ve done the REPLACEMENT strips were 80 points lower than the other two: Old strips 163, One Touch 168, Replacement strips 86(!!!!) Which is pretty clear evidence that the issues haven’t actually been fixed, so now what the heck am I supposed to do???

    Move to a different meter, that seems like the only choice. I’ll report this to Abbott eventually, once the call volume decreases, but I don’t have time to wait online for 1-2 hours to talk to a rep who doesn’t have any real answers. I just feel so shaken by all this.

    Meanwhile, please, please recheck if you get a value that doesn’t feel right or seem right. I’m very hypo unaware, so looking at times in the past where my bg seemed to shoot up much higher than expected for lows treated with 15g glucose, I’m pretty sure I’ve overtreated lows that didn’t really exist.

  14. Stephanie
    Stephanie February 26, 2014 at 8:00 am | | Reply

    400 strips = 2-3 month supply? Ha. That would last us 40 days around here, maybe less depending on what kind of activities he has going on that day. Of course, I do remember our insurance initially approving 300 test strips for 3 months and having to get our endo to go back to them, so maybe that’s the party line these days?
    Anyway, I have nearly 1000 of these. They’ve sent the 400 replacement ones. That leaves me 600. How long are they going to keep this line open so that I can get the other 600 replaced? I paid for them…and I certainly can’t afford to just throw them out..

  15. Steve Alberts
    Steve Alberts February 26, 2014 at 2:05 pm | | Reply

    I was on the phone with Abbott Labs today for over 90 minutes. Their customer reps were not well informed of the problems. First I told that I have OmniPod and was told to stop using it for readings. I told the rep my backup is FreeStyle Flash and was told that I should use it. No comment to me about the recall. Three hours later I found out about the FreeStyle Flash recall. Thus both my meters are either inaccurate because of the quality of the strips or on recall. If the rep would have told me about the recall I could have borrowed a replacement meter from my endocrinologist. But I found out after office hours. So here I sit a PWD T1 with no accurate way of testing. By the way, my numbers have been going very low and very high over the last month. Do you think it could be the quality of the test strips? What do you think?

    By the way, I test 10 times daily and have a continuous glucose monitor that requires calibration. How long do you think 400 strips will last me?

    Yesterday I missed an important doctor’s appointment because all night I had a migraine and nausia. When I woke at 4:00 AM to get ready for appointment, I still had my migraine/nausia and was in no condition to go. I had to cancel. I bet the migraine was from my low numbers.

  16. Chris
    Chris February 26, 2014 at 3:26 pm | | Reply

    Guys. … RELAX !!!! It’s just a glucometer !! And if you can’t discern a false low test by checking how you feel, you should be more worried about your diabetes management than about abbott or any other company. Think of the people who used to test their blood sugars in their urine. ..
    The abbott freestyle is still the best and most accurate glucometer around and i wouldn’t want to trade it for any other Meter even given all these recalls.
    At the end of the day recalls are made even at the slight possibility of a problem for very few people because of liability and because of drama Queens and Kings like you guys. Use some common sense, please !!
    I will not return my test strips as i have not had ANY problems and I’m a heavy user and also use other brands Sometimes and never noticed a significant discrepancy.

    So please please take a deep breath, use some common sense and reasoning think of the positive and stop bitching around and blowing this out of proportion. These unreasonable dramatizations are exactly the reason why the FDA takes years longer to approve new devices that are already in use elsewhere. ..i.e. accu check’s mobile or animas vibe or medtronics veo !!!! This is only one reason why these liability dramas come to bite patients in the butt… !!!

    1. Jennifer Lowe
      Jennifer Lowe March 4, 2014 at 7:31 pm | | Reply

      That’s a pretty cavalier attitude regarding something as important as test strips. I’m a T1, my sister, who died from complications, was a T1 and my father was T1 so I speak from years of experience and testing. Blood and urine. what really pisses me off about your post is that the daughter of a good friend of mine passed away in November from using these faulty strips. She kept testing and it would show normal or even low sugars so she thought everything was okay. She ended up dying from ketoacidosis. So please, think before you post such insensitive remarks.

  17. Melissa Amlung
    Melissa Amlung February 27, 2014 at 9:41 am | | Reply

    Ok, so here is my rant.

    I missed the delivery of the recall letter on Monday 2/24. (Sorry Abbott, didn’t know I was supposed to be waiting at home for something that I didn’t know was coming.) When I received the door tag, I mistakenly thought that is was a shipment of pods. (Even though I was not due a shipment and have never had to sign for them before.) Imagine my surprise when on Tuesday 2/25, Fedex re-delivers the package and I am handed a letter instead of a box.

    I read the letter, sigh, gather my boxes of 1100 test strips, and call Abbott. I hear the recorded message about need the Omnipod when calling, sigh again, and wait for my daughter to get home from school.

    I begin calling at 3pm EST and do not get off the phone with these people until 5:45pm EST. Is it just me, or is that utterly ridiculous? I realize that this is a big recall, but come on! Customers need to be taken care of, especially when their health is concerned. (Don’t even get me started on how long it took to get the information out to us.) Abbott should have been pulling staff from other areas of business to take these calls. Managers and Executive alike should have been manning the phones to help their loyal customers. There is no way we should have been inconvenienced, at least to this extent, for something that is not our fault. Anyway….

    I hold for 1 hour and 47 minutes before the first person picks up. It is painful obvious that she is just reading from a script. She can not answer any of my questions, especially the one regarding getting ALL my strips replaced. She asked me for no information, other than my phone number, and told me I would receive strips on Thursday 2/27. I asked about getting a Freedom meter since the only backup we have to the Omnipod is a Flash. She told me she only deals in strips, but did give me another phone number to call.

    So, thinking that I am about to go on hold for another 2 hours, I call the second number. It is answered immediately by what I can only assume is an overseas call center. This poor guy was so flustered that I actually felt sorry for him. I explained that I had already placed my order for strips, but needed a new meter. This guy just couldn’t seem to get it together. He alternated between rambling about nothing, asking me various questions, apologizing for everything, and putting me on hold numerous times. Even after all that, he still didn’t get everything he needed as he called me back twice after we hung up to get more information, including my address which he never asked for. In the end, he said he was sending me 400 strips and a meter. At this point, I am not about to correct him on the strips because the experience had already been so painful that I couldn’t take anymore.

    So, I waited until today to see what I actually received. To my surprise, I received two different shipments from Fedex. Both from the same local address. One box contained 400 strips (with yellow packaging), while the other contained 400 strips (with blue and white packaging) and a meter. Tests strips are from two different lots, but all have an expiration date of 8/15.

    For anyone that has bothered to read this far, my question is what kind of packaging do your replacement strips have?

  18. Desiree
    Desiree February 27, 2014 at 7:10 pm | | Reply

    Mine are blue. The blue box are for hospital and clinic use not for resale. I bought some online once and investigated.

    My only concern is the same as most other parents, I need all the back up supplies I have. I pay out of pocket when I can find them inexpensive to make sure when send my child off to college she has enough strips with her and won’t run out.

    1. Steve
      Steve February 28, 2014 at 5:04 am | | Reply

      Desiree-It seems that our experiences are mirror images of each other. Customer reps who kept reading to us, only 400 test strips, and our backup meters being the FreeStyle Flash. My big problem is that the first 3 customer reps didn’t say a word when I told them that my backup was the FLASH. I found out about the FLASH recall from my wife who was reading from different online sites. When I called back, I was told not to use it.
      What I am most upset about is that if the first group of reps would have told me about the FLASH, I could have borrowed one from my endocrinologist.
      Also, I was told on Wednesday that I would be receiving my new strips via overnight delivery. Well, it’s Friday morning and my numbers which use to be more stable and in range are not. Over the last quarter my numbers are inconsistent and the results of my last A1C is up. I’m still waiting on my replacement strips, all 400, which is the most a 40 day supply.

  19. Simon
    Simon February 27, 2014 at 11:59 pm | | Reply

    Abbott. Need I say more? The Omnipod has had dodgy reviews for some time too.
    I went round the “so which system to use then?” 2 years ago. Abbot – nice idea, low tech. The only other contender at that level of meter was Roche, Accu-chek. Whole world of difference. I have their meter & pump now.

  20. Sarah
    Sarah February 28, 2014 at 8:52 am | | Reply

    I’ve been using a Freestyle meter for years, and only learned of this recall today, 2/28, by reading the diabetes mine post. (Thank you, diabetes mine!)

    From the comments, it seems that the one Abbott meter that’s still ok to use is the FreeStyle FREEDOM meter… this accurate?

  21. Steve
    Steve February 28, 2014 at 1:09 pm | | Reply

    Sorry..meant to direct my 2/28 reply to Melissa not Desiree.

  22. David
    David February 28, 2014 at 7:44 pm | | Reply

    Very disappointed above all Abbott tried to get me as a direct customer. I’ve worked in this business. It is obviously all about the money with them. If they cared about each of us as a customer, they would have given us the dignity and respect due for the potential harm they may have caused someone. They should really be ashamed of themselves to ask me if they could ship to me direct and replace my current mail order. Extremely disingenuous!

  23. Jaime
    Jaime March 7, 2014 at 10:10 am | | Reply

    I could only get an agent from overseas. They are using a script and have NO information on anything. It was like speaking to a robot with pre programmed answers. Asked to speak with someone from the US and said I would then have to wait for a call back. I am owed 600 more strips which they said they didn’t know when they would get them to me. I am also noticing more issues with the new strips than the old ones. My initial phone wait time was over an hour, two times, and I have also sent an email comment to Abbott stating my disappointments. And to the guy who said something about DRAMA queens/kings…someone could die from a mistake like this. People who use pumps rely on the NUMBER from the meter for EVERYTHING!

  24. nora
    nora July 7, 2014 at 4:22 pm | | Reply

    So, I did not get the letter. have morre thn ONE Freestyle meter. How do I get the excganged? what numbers WORK.

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