New Delhi: Diabetes-testing strips could soon cost as little as Rs 5. The Indian Council of Medical Research has transferred a new technology to Soothe Healthcare, a Noida-based firm that is expected to provide innovative low-cost diabetes diagnostic kits soon. Diabetes testing is a Rs 73,000-crore market globally.
The ICMR and Soothe Healthcare recently signed an agreement granting it non-exclusive rights to produce and market an innovative range of rapid, portable and low-cost diagnostic kits developed by Birla Institute of Technology and Science.
“These technologies are innovative, scalable and affordable to bring down the cost of testing for the common man. We have a unique opportunity to market these products ... but to reach to the vast population we require support from the Union health ministry,” said Sahil Dharia, managing director of Soothe Healthcare.
A pilot launch is planned in two cities. The low-cost indigenous device, comprising a glucometer and strips will be made available at pharmacy shops. While the glucometer is expected to cost around Rs 1,000, the strips will cost just Rs 5. A glucometer now costs around Rs 3,000 and the strips are priced at Rs 25-30.
Calling it an important breakthrough for the 60 million diabetes patients and 70 million pre-diabetics in India, experts say that the new low cost equipment will help all those who avoid checking the blood sugar levels due to the high cost of the strips.
According to the International Diabetes federation the number of patients with diabetes in India have increased from 50.8 million in 2010 to 65.1 million in 2014 and the number is expected to cross 100 million by the year 2030.