Sens. Dan Coats, R-Ind., and Mark Warner, D-Va., have introduced legislation they said will ensure that Medicare recipients have access to various brands of test strips used to monitor the blood-sugar levels of diabetics.
"Diabetes patients deserve the right to choose what products will best help them manage this disease," Coats said in a statement.
Coats and Warner said the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general has found that common brands of diabetes test strips are no longer available through Medicare mail-order suppliers.
Their legislation, called the Protecting Access to Diabetes Supplies Act, would ensure that Medicare beneficiaries are informed of their rights to obtain preferred products and would prevent automatic refills of unwanted products. The bill also would have test-strip suppliers demonstrate they can obtain products included in their contract bids.
Coats and Warner said their legislation is supported by the American Association of Diabetes Educators, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and Diabetes Access to Care Coalition.