Problem with contour next test strips

Has anyone had any problems with the contour next strips? For me they seem to go bad pretty quick when there is high humidity. I have had 3 vials of 50 go bad in the last 2 months. What happens is the strips will not take up blood past a certain point even if there is plenty available( a drop about the size of a sesame seed with plenty left over after the strip takes up some). Generally i will dip a strip into an excessive drop of blood and it will fill partially and the machine will say strip underfilled. I suspect it is a design flaw on the packaging. they should probably have some sort of anti desiccant in the vial. Until I started the minimed 670g I was using a one touch ultra smart meter. I have used many different meters over the years and this is the only one that has given me any problems. I tried calling bayer after the second vial got wonky and they said their was nothing they could do. They gave me a sample vial with something like 10 strips (this was a couple months ago) Big help after getting 70 to 80 bad strips. I’ve tried washing my hands, doing another finger stick but nothing seems to work except opening a new vial. These strips supposedly can take up more blood to complete the test once started but that only works on about every third strip.

@MikeW hi Mike,

all bg strips degrade in high humidity. it’s best to keep your strips from excess humidity, and once opened, to completely use them in 30 days. people sometimes store strips (opened and unopened, in the bathroom = big mistake.

the strip has a chemical in the capillary section that reacts with blood and the result of that reaction is what the meter reads. that capillary (the small channel that is supposed to suck up blood), can be obstructed by physical damage or by humidity, and not suck up the blood, as well be blocked by the manufacturer.when the strip is assembled.

the manufacturer should make good on them by replacing strips defective at manufacturing. If they soaked up a ton of humidity… because you left them opened… in your sauna… that might be on you.

Especially if you are sure you didn’t mishandle them, You should definitely file a FDA complaint.

I am using free strips by Livongo and my hit rate on errors (from the capillarity not sucking up blood or when the strip just returns an error) is 1 strip in about 40. My hit rate for my J&J one touch was closer to 1 in 100. my bayer meter strips never did it in my recollection.

the squeaky wheel gets more free strips. good luck.

HI Joe

Thanks for the reply. I tried to shorten my initial post but should have given a few more details. All three vials were open only between 5 and 10 days (On average
I do about 4 tests /day so vials of 50 usually only last about a dozen days and these failed when the vials were more than ½ full), not subjected to unnecessary humidity no leaving in bathrooms etc. Generally the open vial goes with me wherever I go outside
the house because you never know when the darn Medtronic blood demon might want a drop… But sheltered as much as possible It has been a relatively humid summer here in NJ but not like the everglades. I am a biology instructor here and I am familiar with
the mechanisms how they work so I am especially careful to try to take care of them. With the one touch strips I was closer to 1 in a 100 but even then that was usually when I wasn’t 100% certain I had enough blood. My main goal with the initial post was
to see if there were more people having a hard time with this particular brand before contacting the FDA and or if there was already something in progress which I haven’t seen. I talked to bayer/acensia once after the second vial failed and I just emailed
them after the 3rd . When I say failed I mean that more than 3 in a row will not work… more than one time. I generally don’t bring more than one vial with me so If I need a blood reading for medtronics I will keep attempting until I get a reading.
in another week or so unless I hear anything I will have to figure out how to contact the FDA. I am just starting to document things a little better date opened etc. to keep a better record. I have never had this many issues with previous brands of strips
one touch mostly , and a few more brands I don’t remember. Sorry about rambling here but I am just about to leave work after about 11 hours

You’re not rambling- I would think it’s a bad batch or lot. The entire order should be replaced. The scarier issue is if these strips have potential accuracy problems. You can ask Bayer for calibration fluid to spot check but they should at least want your strips in exchange for new ones.

The FDA set up “Medwatch” for reporting medical device malfunctions. the link is here

Yes! I was on the phone last night with Ascencia regarding my test strips not working lately. All new, not expired, etc. They blamed it on the monitor, I said it definitely wasn’t the monitor b/c I was having the issue on 2 separate monitors. They said they were sending a new Medtronic monitor? They said they manufacturer them even though they say Medtronic. I stated that I will then need to reconnect it to my pump and I really didn’t think it was the monitor. Made no sense to me & was a very frustrating conversation. I asked about all the strips that were useless that I paid for & they said they’d send me 10 strips. I was disgusted.

The first time I tried contacting them they tried to blame the blood sugar machine, I explained to them that if I tried opening a new vial the problem went away for a week. that’s when they offered to send me a few strips,

It is a shame [ @MikeW ] Mike that you are having this problem and more so with the feeble response you received from Contour - especially where it appears that you have received a “bad Batch”. Especially since the Contour has been rated as the most accurate of all BGM.

I used the Contour Next for years and never had problems - I had to stop my 10 contour BG checks per day when UHC refused to cover under Medicare. I just pulled out my old Contour and ‘expired check strips’ which I’ve kept as backup and got the same [off by 2 mg/dl] reading as shown on my CGM.

Hi Mike,
Sorry to hear this, sounds like definitely defective strips. We live in Florida and have been using Contour strips for our son for like 10 years. He tests 10 times/day and we’ve never had problems. He keeps some in his fishing backpack that lays in the sun/humidity in the summer(I don’t recommend this however!) almost everyday for hours. So I’d say that’s a true test of them withstanding weather(we’re close to the Everglades-as you mentioned, LOL). So you should follow up on getting some reimbursement again. Goodluck!

I use the contour next system with the Medtronic 670g and have experienced more strip failing to fill errors than I ever did with any of my previous meters. I too contacted Bayer for replacement strips and was basically told to go away it was my fault that they didn’t work. Their customer service is one of the worst I have ever seen.

I kept after them for a little while and somebody agreed to send me some but never did send them. For me it was only two vials last summer. Since then I have had no issues. I had more failures with the one touch strips which I used for many years