Abbott Recalls Test Strips

The company warns that some of its test strips could give inaccurately low BG readings.



Abbott Diabetes Care announced it is voluntarily recalling 20 lots of test strips that have the potential to deliver false low blood glucose readings when used with older Abbott meters.

According to an Abbott press release, the recall includes 20 lots of FreeStyle and FreeStyle Lite Blood Glucose Test Strips with expiration dates between May 2014 and March 2015 (see the chart below for lot numbers). Abbott warns that the strips could give a false low reading when used with two of its older meters, the FreeStyle Blood Glucose Meter and the FreeStyle Flash Blood Glucose Meter. The two meters in question both were discontinued by Abbott in 2010. The company says the strips still provide accurate results with some of its newer meters, the FreeStyle Freedom, FreeStyle Lite and FreeStyle Freedom Lite meters.

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This isn’t the first recall for Abbott in 2013. In April, the FDA warned that Abbott’s InsuLinx BGM sometimes displayed very erroneous glucose readings when the user’s BG was exceptionally high. The FDA slapped the ensuing recall with its most serious Class I status, meaning that the device’s potential malfunction could cause serious injury or death. Abbott gear also was the subject of a 2010 recall of some 359 million test strips because of false low readings.

The latest recall is another example of the double-edged sword of new tech for people with diabetes. While diabetes supply companies have been racing to develop new equipment that can provide tighter glucose control and less testing, their development efforts also can create a diabetes gear treadmill, where supplies quickly become obsolete. Keeping up with the evolving technologies can be costly, and the compatibility conflict between newer gear and older gear can sometimes pose a medical risk.

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Craig Idlebrook is a past editor for Insulin Nation, Type 2 Nation, and Información Sobre Diabetes. He is now the community engagement and content manager for T1D Exchange.