Thursday, 30 August 2007

The Accu-Chek Performa Meter Fiasco

We were once excited about the free Performa meter Accu-Chek were sending out to all of us currently using an Advantage meter.

Then, we were a little worried as the meter didn't seem to work as we expected.

Then we discovered that the meter read in Plasma, not whole blood. All very good, but we were a little annoyed that we weren't clearly told about it. Small print isn't enough.

Then we discovered that the supposed 10 - 15% higher readings could be as far off as 10 - 60%, which is nowhere near accurate enough for a diabetic trying to survive day to day.

Roche eventually (but very casually) mentioned that the meters might not be reading as expected, and very quietly mumbled that maybe, if we wanted to, we could use our old meters for a while, only if we weren't happy, and just until they sorted out the strip / chip issue. Although these meters were often reading dangerously outside of range many people are still using them and Roche have barely tried to discourage us. Even the health professionals are confused - one person will tell you to keep using it, it's fine... the next will freak out and insist you kee
p well away from it until they've sorted it.

I for one was not pleased. I'm sure Roche aren't too pleased with how this turned out either! But I no longer play a part in this fiasco! YAY! I gave in to the competitors offers. I have now swapped my Performa meter for an Optium Xceed, and I'm pretty happy with that deal - At least the Xceed has a back-light! (Overseas readers may know it as the Xtra)

I'd encourage others to either do the same, or at least keep using your Advantage meter. The Performa is a recipe for trouble! Even if you're happy with the Performa, are you happy with the way Roche have dealt with the issue? I'm certainly not.

However I'd also like to note that the issue with the Performa seems to be only on some meters (which totally kills their theory of the problem being in the calibration of the strips, doesn't it?). My tests showed a variance of up to 60%, yet my friend's comparisons show a fairly well averaged 15% with only a couple of slightly 'off' readings.

Anyway, here's to my new meter and three cheers to Medica Pacifica for a brilliant deal, and what looks like a brilliant meter. I'm yet to find out, because getting a new prescription for more strips is yet another fiasco I have to go through repeatedly with my doctor, so at this point I have a lovely new meter and NO strips. How it sucks to have a new toy that you can't play with!


Jenny said...

This looks like a repackaging of the crappy Aviva meter. The strips for that one were all over the place. My last vial read 50 mg/dl higher than lab (25%). The company gave me the most ridiculous run around when I reported it, and their only concern was to get me to say, on tape, I hadn't been harmed.

Evil. Try the One Touch instead.

..M.. said...

Jenny - yes it's very similar to the Aviva. We don't get the Aviva or the One Touch here in NZ - the only meters available to us are the Accu-Chek Advantage (being replaced by the Performa) and the Optium (being replaced by the Optium Exceed). We may be a small country, but you'd think we'd have a little more choice than that!

Interesting to hear you had problems with the Aviva too. I'd already noticed that the Performa was strikingly similar (tho I'd also noticed differences) and wondered if it was the same thing by a different name.

Steve said...

Hi M,
I brought the problem to Roche's attention early in June, my readings with the Performa have been -4% to +90% when compared with an Advantage. I also pointed out that it is not consistent and therefore the recalibrating of the test sticks would not work. With the Aviva, they had to recall the meters, and I wouldn't be surprised if that is what will happen here.

..M.. said...

Steve - my thoughts exactly. I don't know what they expect from recalibrating strips, the thing just doesn't read consistently enough for that to make any sense.
Although it should be noted that SOME users have no trouble with their meters (other than slightly higher than expected readings) - is it possible you and I (and many others) have meters from a bad batch, or something as simple as that?