Contributing Editor Christine Blank is a freelance writer based in Florida.
Walmart has launched its own ReliOn brand diabetes products.
In an effort to help the nearly 26 million diabetics in the United States more effectively manage their diabetes, Walmart recently introduced a line of its own, ReliOn brand diabetes products.
The products - including blood sugar test strips, glucometers, insulin, and syringes - are priced affordably, according to Walmart executives. "We've worked closely with our suppliers and found a way to significantly reduce the cost of diabetes products for all of our customers, whether they have insurance or not, so they can better manage their disease," said John Agwunobi, MD, president of Walmart U.S. Health and Wellness.
Many people with diabetes struggle to manage their disease, primarily because of the high cost of doing so, said Agwunobi. By 2007, according to figures provided by the American Diabetes Association, the national cost of diabetes exceeded $174 billion. Diabetics can spend as much as $1,000 a year on blood sugar test strips alone, a statement from the company declared. "Switching to ReliOn Prime test strips can save each diabetes patient as much as $784 a year," the statement continued.
"We know our customers need more affordable diabetes management tools and have worked for nearly three years to develop the ReliOn Prime Partnership," said Deisha Galberth Barnett, senior director of corporate communications for Walmart. The line includes lower-priced gloves, lancets, and syringes, Galberth Barnett added.
Offering free or reduced generic medication programs is also saving its diabetic customers money, according to the statement from Walmart. The retailer offers 15 diabetes prescriptions for $4 each.