TORONTO - A new study says Ontario could save tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars by cutting back on the number of unnecessary glucose tests people with Type 2 diabetes perform weekly.
The study suggests the amount the province will have to spend on glucose test strips over the next five years could be cut by between $26 million and $300 million, depending on how often people are told to test their glucose levels.
The changes, if implemented, would not apply to people with Type 1 diabetes or people who control Type 2 diabetes with insulin.
Tara Gomes, author of the paper appearing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, says studies have shown the multiple-times-a-day glucose testing recommended for people with Type 2 diabetes doesn't actually improve their glucose control and can trigger anxiety and depression.
She says cutting the number of tests back to twice a week or something in that range would not increase the risk to the individuals but would save the Ontario government large sums.
The authors say if the policy on testing doesn't change, Ontario will spend $500 million paying for glucose test strips for people 65 and older over the next five years.