Based on one of the responses in my previous post it sounds like they can get them from a pharmacy. I have some phone calls in to the FDA to try and find out why we in the u.s. can't simply purchase test strips from a local pharmacy.
We Canadians kind of get a "standing order" prescription for the strips from our doctors when we purchase the monitor.
I just phone the pharmacy and pick it up after a couple days.
I think there's couple of Canadians that have a INRatio 2, but I believe the majority have the CoaguChek XS monitor. [h=2][/h]
This is good to know (even if I'm in the United States). I wonder about the InRatio, though, because it has gotten extremely difficult (and expensive) to get strips for the InRatio. I assume that this situation may change, once Alere starts producing strips that meet quality (and safety) requirements and begin producing them in quantity. (Of course, there may be a point where they realize that they might be able to make MORE money by making FEWER strips and charging more for each strip -- but this would only be good short-term and may cause new (and old) users to move to a different meter.
If the InRatio strips continue to be somewhat prohibitively expensive -- especially for nations with socialized medicine - I wonder if a bureaucrat will decide that InRatio users should switch to CoaguChek XS or Coag-Sense.
I'm already seriously considering switching over to the CoaguChek. I have spoken with 3 people at the FDA Division of Immunology and Hematology Devices trying to get answers regarding the difficulty of purchasing test strips in the U.S. So far the only answer I have is they are investigating and will get back to me. I'm waiting to hear back from them before I purchase a new meter.
I hope you didn't miss understand me, but you'll have to get a prescription from your doctor first, I got mine from my cardiologist. You might be able to claim maybe 80% of the purchase of the monitor through medical insurance, but most Canadian companies don't recognize the unit or the strips. On the West Coast/Vancouver & Victoria, London Drugs carries the CoaguChekXS monitor......$500.00 plus the strips, which is around $150.00 +/-.
As for the INRatio, my understanding is that it is becoming very difficult to buy strips for that unit in the U.S.A., not sure if Canada has the same problems. Maybe GerryChuck from MooseJaw, Sk. will comment on that - I believe he has a INRatio monitor.
Good Luck and you will totally enjoy the 'user friendly' Coaguchek XS monitor.
My apologies for not seeing this sooner, Mercia. I do have an InRatio2 device that I have been using for 2 years. When I bought it I didn't realize that it was very rarely used in Canada; as others have noted the Coaguchek is the dominant unit here, and strips are readily available through London Drugs and other big pharmacies. I had no difficulty sourcing strips from the US prior to the recall problem, but it has been way harder since then. Most suppliers in the States will now not sell directly to home users (you have to sign off on a disclaimer that states you are a physician, etc). I did find one supplier on ebay(in the US) this summer and was able to get a year's worth of strips, but I have seen people state that they can't find anything recently. If you have a choice regarding which meter to get, I would go with the Coaguchek simply because the strips are so much easier to get in this country. I have had no problems with the InRatio2, and the results from it have been very accurate compared to lab blood tests, but at the moment it is proving difficult to get the strips. It wouldn't surprise me if I have to buy a different meter next year when my current batch runs out. Hope this helps!