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As has been pointed out by several responders, the trial of Farmer et al was flawed in that those in the “intensive testing” group were not given the information to act on the results of their tests to bring their blood glucose down (take exercise), nor were they encouraged to use the results of the test to modify their diets to achieve greater control.1 2 On the contrary, they were encouraged to maintain their regimens.
Therefore I find the contention that self monitoring of blood glucose is not beneficial and the attitude of some of the medical profession towards their diabetic patients extremely arrogant and ill founded. It led me to think about how I would feel if I were refused strips and treated like a child with the diabetes specialist nurse precribing my regimen—in effect, it would take away my “ownership” of the disease.
Surely it is possible for doctors to prescribe for motivated patients who will take advantage of the strips to modify their regimens accordingly and prove the worth of the prescription by saving the NHS money in the long run. There will, of course, be many patients who cannot cope with the necessary hard work (because it is hard work) and who would prefer to have their diabetes managed by the medical profession, but please do not deny the wherewithal to those who are both motivated and able to use the results.
Competing interests: None declared.