Alerts & News

NE AACE Chapter Letter to CVS Regarding Glucose Test Strips

posted: March 31, 2019

Troyen Brennan MD
Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
CVS Corporate Office
1 CVS Drive
Woonsocket, R.I., 02895

Dear Dr. Brennan,

The New England Chapter of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (NE AACE) is committed to providing the best possible care to our patients with diabetes and other endocrine conditions. The membership of our Chapter includes over four hundred clinical endocrinologists in New England. We are concerned with the new policy limiting glucose test strips for Medicare beneficiaries at CVS pharmacies. At present time, Medicare beneficiaries can obtain a maximum of 3 glucose strips per day if on insulin and 1 strip daily if not on insulin — if obtaining test strip supplies at CVS. We are told that CVS is not willing to appeal on behalf of patients to receive a higher allotment of glucose test strips. As you are aware, many patients require higher quantities of tests strips especially if they are on complex insulin regimens or they suffer from hypoglycemia unawareness. Our offices have been receiving frequent phone calls from CVS pharmacies asking us to lower the quantity of test strips that patient may obtain which puts some people with diabetes at risk for inadequate monitoring and having severe hypoglycemic reactions. We are aware that other pharmacies particularly Walgreens are willing to appeal to Medicare on our patient’s behalf for a higher number of test strips. We routinely complete Walgreen’s Certificate of Medical Necessity (CMN) forms that allow patients to receive an appropriate amount of glucose test strips.

In order to improve patient care, we are advocating on behalf of our patients that CVS pharmacies allow use of diabetic written order forms that document reasons for testing above Medicare utilization guidelines. This will allow our Medicare patients with diabetes to receive an appropriate number of test strips so they will be able to monitor their glucose levels in a safe and effective manner.

Sincerely yours,
Barry Z. Izenstein M.D. MACP, FACE
President, New England AACE

New England AACE Socioeconomic Committee: Miguel A. Ariza, MD, ECNU, Richard Haas, MD, FACE William Sullivan, MD, FACP, FACE.