In April of this year, the FDA issued a warning to the public against the use of pre-owned diabetic strips, saying the practice could result in “serious injury or even death.” Since this alert, several news outlets have picked up on the story and written in more detail about the practice of buying unauthorized, pre-owned strips on sites like Amazon, Ebay, Craigslist or even new retailers who’ve gotten in on the trend. From the Bronx to Minnesota a “gray market” for pre-owned strips has popped up seemingly overnight and it’s putting people with diabetes at risk. In five reasons, here’s why —
1) The strips may be expired
Accidentally buying expired test strips can lead to inaccurate results. In consequence, this could lead to taking too much — or too little — medication, which of course can cause serious injury or even death. An expiration date is printed on every vial of test strips — always look at this closely before use. If you have test strips that are expired, always opt to throw them away.
2) You don’t know if the preowned strips you purchased have been stored appropriately.
Strips should always be stored in sealed containers, away from heat, moisture, humidity, and direct sunlight. When you buy preowned test strips, you are betting on them being properly stored but it’s something you can’t control. Don’t assume that the person you are buying from stored their strips correctly.
3) The strips may be contaminated
Because this is in the realm of possibility, it’s not worth the gamble. Per the FDA, it’s possible that used test strips may have small amounts of blood on them from the previous owner, which can put you at risk of infection or cross-contamination.
4) You may be buying something that was sold illegally
While reselling off-the-shelf test strips is technically legal, selling strips provided through Medicare or Medicaid is not. It is illegal to sell test strips that have been purchased by the government. Don’t become complicit in someone breaking the law.
5) You may not be buying from a reputable business
In 2018, The Chicago Better Business Bureau reported that one preowned strip company alone had generated over 246 customer complaints. The complaints allege non-shipments from the company with a consistent failure to issue refunds, as well as a customer phone number that’s not operational.
Here at StripSupply, we feel that reducing the cost of test strips is a noble endeavor. However, we also believe that this mission can’t involve people with diabetes putting themselves in danger. It’s a fact that test strips aren’t affordable — especially for the uninsured but that goes for the insured as well.
Here’s what you can always expect from StripSupply - we will ALWAYS ship you brand-new, in-the-box, properly stored, FDA-approved test strips. And we’ll do it at up to 85% less than retail price. We’re shifting the paradigm around diabetes testing to make it more inclusive and more affordable for people with diabetes. Because getting potentially life-saving test results should never be denied due to cost. Try a monthly subscription to StripSupply today.