Glucose test strips $$$

What does it cost to manufacture a glucose test strip? (My uninformed guess is 4¢)

Insurance aside, they retail for about 75¢ apiece.

It sounds like you’re asking about the marginal cost per strip—basically, how much it costs to make one more, once they’re already set up to make them. But it’s important to remember that that’s not the only cost that the manufacturer has to cover in order to break even, let alone make a profit. There are also costs involved in research and development, equipment and facilities, employee salaries and benefits, etc. that have to be covered somehow.

That said, I don’t know the answer to your question, but I did some googling. Here, for what it’s worth, are some of the things I found.

From this 2007 LA Times article. (Looks like that’s one for the “How many products use the “razor blade” business model?” thread.)

From here (January 2020)

From someone’s response on Quora

Your distinction between marginal cost and average cost is valid, of course, but it goes to confirm that the US market for pharmaceuticals is fundamentally broken. Basic economic theory predicts that in a perfect market with no entry barriers, the market price will tend towards marginal cost. Sure, no market is truly perfect, but the one for pharmaceuticals is particularly imperfect.

Thank you, T.B. It’s probably unanswerable. That being said, I don’t think there have been any improvements in test strip technology for a couple decades so research and development can’t be much of a factor.

I think Walmart has its own generic brand they sell fairly cheaply.

They do. I bought 100 for $18 not long ago.

Based on this and the fact that they all do the same thing and are pretty much equally accurate I amend my guesstimate as to the per strip cost. I say less than a penny.

My wife buys them from Amazon. £12.29 for 50 - less than 25p each. Cheaper if you buy 100 and free delivery on Prime.

Well, there is new technology. Like continuous glucose monitors, which I don’t think use test strips.

CGMs don’t use test strips but utilize a “sensor” that needs to be replaced every 7 to 14 days.

Glucose meters are the printer, test strips are the ink.