Those are the answers to the two questions most prominently on your mind when you see one of those signs inviting you to sell test strips you dont need.
Of course, both of those answers come with caveats. As you can imagine, there is plenty of room for funny business. Scams come in all shapes and sizes.
As for criminality, law enforcement tends to consider it a gray market. A gray market is defined as:
an unofficial market in goods that have not been obtained from an official supplier:
Then again, by that definition, goods bought and sold on services like eBay and Craigs List also constitute a gray market.
And while the market may be gray, it is not entirely unregulated.
Healthline confirms that it is not illegal for companies to buy and sell test strips like this. They also say that these businesses are required to register with the FDA, but many fail to do so.
The buyer bears some risk if purchasing from unscrupulous companies. As a seller, there are a few things you can do to be sure the system works for everyone:
Check the Expiration Date Before You Sell Test Strips
Test strips eventually expire. That is why you should check the date, and only sell test strips that are safely within that date.
The expiration date is a ticking clock, and may actually be a good reason for you to sell your unused test strips.
Many diabetics do not use all of their supplies within their prescription window. They may only be borderline diabetic.
Their readings may be great every time. They may only test once a day instead of two or three times. But whatever the reason, they have extra supplies lying about.
Throwing perfectly good test strips out seems somewhat irresponsible and wasteful, especially when there is another option. If you know you are not going to get around to using them, sell test strips well before they expire so that someone else can.
Store Unused Test Strips Properly
Kind of like with milk, the test strip expiration date is largely dependent on how it is stored. Leave milk on the counter all day, and watch how quickly it expires.
If test strips are stored improperly, they will also expire long before their expiration date.
The best way to store them is in a dry climate at room temperature. Never freeze your strips. Also, keep them out of moist or humid environments. Keep them away from direct sunlight.
If you plan to sell unused, unopened test strips, keep them stored properly for optimal longevity.
At the end of the day, there are people who want to buy your surplus test strips. They are serious about diabetic testing but do not have insurance. Even going through a middleman, they stand to save a lot of money over retail pricing.
The system is imperfect, but you can play your part by selling only to reputable businesses, checking the expiration dates, and storing surplus supplies properly. Someone elses life might well depend on it.
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