Diabetic test strips are those nifty little strips that tell you how high or low your glucose levels are. Some people may take having them for granted but in some places around the world, those strips can be as valuable to diabetic patients like gold. This is why some diabetic patients sell their unused supplies, including lancets and glucose test strips. Resellers will sell second-hand diabetic test strips at a much lower price and this low price will actually help people who have little resources to spend on buying diabetic test strips to keep an eye on their sugar levels. The fact that some people resell their supplies, however, calls into question the legality of the practice. Is it legal to sell diabetic test strips if you aren’t an actual medical supplier?
The long and short of it is yes. It is legal to sell diabetic test strips as long as they belong to you, and as long as you did not get them through Medicare or Medicaid. The reason why reselling diabetic test strips you acquired from Medicare or Medicaid is that people on Medicaid get their testing supplies from the government. These have been paid for by taxpayers and therefore could not be resold. To be able to identify if the test strips you bought second-hand came from Medicare or Medicaid, look for a red stripe on the box. This red stripe indicates that the test strips have been paid for by Medicare or Medicaid.
It is legal to resell diabetic test strips as long as they have not expired. Your test strips should not have already been used, nor tampered with. If any of your test strips have been compromised or damaged in any way, you can be held legally responsible for any untoward incidents that result from the use of the compromised diabetic test strips.
If you sell diabetic test strips that are not rightfully yours, i.e. you got them from another person without their knowledge or permission, you can be held legally liable. However, for example, you have a diabetic relative who passed away, you can sell their unused and unexpired test strips legally.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the FDA warn diabetic patients that buying resold test strips can be dangerous. As a buyer, you need to check if the strips have not yet expired. You also need to check for signs of tampering and damage.
As a reseller, you should always make sure that the test strips you are selling have at least 4 good months left before expiring. You need to make sure that these strips are indeed unused and undamaged, and that you are reselling them at a reasonable price. These little strips can mean the difference between a diabetic coma and surviving an acute spike in sugar levels.
Reselling diabetic test strips and other diabetic supplies can help people who are in need. We just need to make sure that the supplies made available to them will actually help rather than lead them to harm’s way.