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Diabetic Test Strips Black Market

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Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Test Strips

2 Investigators: The Black Market For Diabetes Test Strips

Modified: Jun 17, 2020 by Lianne Fachetti, ABA · This post may contain affiliate links ·

Blood glucose test strips play a crucial role in helping you to monitor your daily blood glucose level and giving your doctor the data to adjust your medication to control your diabetes symptoms. Without the help from these little disposable strips, life with diabetes can become even more chaotic than ever.

But what exactly are these thin little plastic slip and why are they so expensive? Are there any alternative method I can use? Where can I get the best deal on these test strips? This article will answer many of your questions and concerns regarding these blood glucose test strips:

It Depends On The Correct Measurement Result

The need to have medical diagnoses in emergency situations, in real time and far from hospital facilities, has made so-called “point-of-care diagnostics” an extremely important area of medical analysis. This leads to significant time savings and efficiency in the medical treatment process.

The use of electronic technology together with special polymer substrates has enabled the realization of simple and rapid miniaturized analysis kits. The main applications for this are the analysis of blood sugar , the evaluation of blood tests and, more generally, any type of microfluidic analysis device, as well as in vitro analysis in specialized laboratories .

Can You Buy Glucose Test Strips Over The Counter

In the United States, glucose test strips are available over the counter at big box stores, independent retail pharmacies, and many websites, including Amazon, eBay, discount pharmaceutical sites like GoodRx, and manufacturers online sites. You can also find them in the so-called gray market .

Test strips are covered by:

  • most commercial insurers

According to survey data passed directly to us from the diabetes research firm dQ& A, most people with diabetes get their test strips through health insurance 82% of people with type 1 diabetes and 76% of those with type 2 diabetes, to be exact.

But even with this coverage, test strips can often be very pricey.

For one thing, if you have a high deductible health plan, you still might need to pay over-the-counter prices for supplies until you meet the deductible.

However, you could catch a break if you have a health savings account , as the Treasury Department recently said that diabetes supplies and insulin would be covered in high deductible plans for people who have HSAs.

Also, your insurance might not cover the brand of test strips you want. Many insurance plans put specific preferred brands of meters and test strips in their top formulary tiers. That means brands not in those tiered lists will cost much more.

This can be a problem for those who need specific meters that transmit readings to their insulin pumps, or who switch insurance plans and dont like the meters and strips covered by their new plans.

Recommended Reading: Insulin Pump And Glucose Monitor In One

How To Dispose Used Test Strips Lancets And Needles

As of now, each state and region has its own rules for disposing of syringes, pen needles, lancets and blood strips. To learn more about the regulations, you can check with your refuse company or the local waste authority. For additional information about how to safely dispose of your medical waste in your neighborhood, visit the Center of Disease Control and Prevention official website. But in general, never dispose medical waste directly in usual trash bins or public trash areas. Even when you are traveling, please use proper containers to collect your medical waste.

When it comes to dealing with test strips, patients typically dispose them in the same bio-waste container along with their other medical waste items. Some like to keep the blood glucose test strips in a sealed bag and then place them in the sharps container. Sometimes, your community may have dedicated collection sites for filled sharp containers. Some of these locations that may collect them include police stations, fire departments, doctors offices, health clinics, health departments, pharmacies, and hospitals.

At $1 Apiece Retail These Slivers Cost Pennies To Make Prompting Thieves To Steal Them And Some Diabetics To Compromise Their Health

100 Freestyle Lite Diabetic test strips EXP 10/31/2021

Before he connected with a rogue pharmacy tech in Washington state, before the enticing eBay ads and the deals with a Boca Raton-based medical supply company, Donald Alan Pepin appeared to be nothing more threatening than a business owner who drank too much.

Sentenced to a stint in federal prison, the North Palm Beach man is, according to court documents, newly sober and abjectly sorry for his role in the black market for diabetic test strips.

To diabetics, the tiny pieces of plastic are a lifeline to health. To pharmaceutical companies, middlemen and thieves, the pricey strips are worth their weight in gold.

Pepin is not the only local involved in such shadowy sales. A Boynton Beach businessman is facing prison for a fake diabetes supply scheme spanning three countries.

At the heart of both cases are the booming black and gray markets for the expensive strips.

True, companies frequently give away blood-testing devices to diabetics, or sell them for a low price.

But those devices call for a diabetic to prick a finger, apply the blood to the chemically treated strip, which is read by the equipment to measure the amount of sugar in the blood.

And the strips, which can be used just once, are anything but free.

Although some estimates peg the manufacturing cost at about a dime per strip, its not unusual for a single strip to retail for $1 or more. And its not unusual for diabetics dependent on insulin to have to test three to 10 times a day. The cost quickly adds up.

Also Check: Convert Blood Sugar To A1c

Why Must Diabetic Patients Use Glucometer And Test Strips

As much as we would love to do without the pain and the blood, monitoring your blood glucose level is crucial to controlling your diabetes. If uncontrolled, the chronic condition can lead to a variety of serious life-threatening complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, and limb amputation. If you are trying to save money by skipping on blood test, think of the consequences when your diabetes causes a complication that require much more expensive medication and treatment.

And in extreme cases, a trip to the emergency room due to sudden heart attack or stroke is required. Any of these consequences will cost much more than the money you save from test strips. Instead, you should think of blood glucose testing as the small token for getting a healthier life. Also, blood glucose tests will take out the stress and confusion when it comes to treating diabetes. By knowing whether your blood glucose level is in the proper range, you can act according to your current condition without guessing what may happen next.

If you truly wish to save money, knowing when to test your blood glucose level, learning how to use your test strips effectively to avoid wastage, and being vigilant with changing your unhealthy eating habits are the ways to solve the problem.

How Often Should You Administer A Blood Glucose Test

If you are unsure how frequent you should administer a blood glucose test, it is contingent on what diabetes type you have and which treatments you use .

Onetouch Ultra 200ct Test Strips

The OneTouch Ultra Test Strips with a special FastDraw design make blood glucose testing fast, easy, and less painful for anyone with diabetes. The One Touch Ultra Meter gives results in just 5 seconds and requires just a speck of blood. That can mean less pain when you test on your fingers or forearm. Just touch the end of the test strip to your blood sample. The test strip automatically draws up blood and makes it easy to see when there’s enough blood for an accurate reading.The One Touch Ultra blue test strips are specially designed to simplify testing your blood sugar so you have one less thing to worry about everyday. The onetouch ultra test strips are simple to use with an accuracy that cannot be beat. You can see your test results in as little as five seconds and they only require a tiny amount of blood for an accurate reading you can trust.


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Medicare Plan B Coverage For Glucose Test Strips

Even though Medicare Plan B covers the cost of most diabetic patients equipment and medication needs, the amount of covered supplies differs depending on whether you require insulin. If you use insulin, you may be able to receive up to 300 lancets and 300 test strips every 3 months, and 1 lancet device every 6 months. If you dont require insulin usage, you may be receive up to 100 test strips and lancets per 3 months, and 1 lancet device every 6 months. However, should your doctor indicates that it is medically necessary for you

However, should your doctor indicates that it is medically necessary for you run more frequent blood glucose testing, Medicare will permit you to get additional test strips and lancets as long as you have a recommendation from your doctor stating the specific reasons for the extra supplies. Due to the grey and black markets of reselling test strips, Medicare and private insurance companies have been more stringent on the coverage quota for patients. So only request if you truly need more.

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Best Selling Diabetes Test Strips

Diabetics sell insulin and test strips on black market for extra cash

I was looking for 1 year expiration strips. Could not find a space or where to specify the request. But will try to use it and give some to somebody before the expiration date. I wish to have an option to request such. It is making to consider other buying options.Thank you.

One Touch Verio Test Strips 200ct


Fast, reliable service.I need every once in a while to supplement diabetic supplies that my insurance will not cover, and you are an excellent ,reliable source. While the prices may not be the absolute best one can find compared to other outlets, it is worth it as it is always timely and excellent. will come back.

One Touch Verio Test Strips 200ct

Shipping AND Delivery

At Diabetic Warehouse, we’re committed to giving you the most for your money. That’s why EVERYTHING you buy ships FREE via our fast 3-5 day shipping method! Once shipped, you will receive an email with your tracking number. Unlike many other online stores, here at Diabetic Warehouse we stock 90% of what we sell. This enables us to get your order shipped the same day as long as it’s placed before 3pm EST, for prompt delivery.



Recommended Reading: Skin Conditions Related To Diabetes

How The Resales Work

More than 30 million Americans reported having diabetes in 2015, according to data from the American Diabetes Association. Rates are particularly distressing here in the Southeast, in states such as Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Thats what makes this region attractive for resale businesses.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the death rate from diabetes in this state is 8 percent higher than the national average.

Test strips often come in packs of 50 or 100, and a pack can range from $50 to $200 if purchased without assistance from insurance. Georgia requires that patients have a prescription to purchase test strips from a medical supplier, but the resale of these strips is legal for both buyer and seller, as it is in many other states.

The head of, Wendy Carrier, as well as other corporations that buy and resell test strips in Georgia, were contacted but declined to comment for this story. However, their websites and advertisements on social media detail a how-to guide for people who want to make money on the supplies they have.

The American Diabetes Association estimates that more than 1 million people in Georgia have diabetes, and many of those people dont even know they have the condition. There are an estimated 50,000 diabetes diagnoses each year.

Most of the resellers claim that they only buy packs of strips that are unopened and not past their expiration date.

Contour Next Test Strips 200 Count

  • No Coding technology means one less step in testing and eliminates errors due to user miscoding
  • Second-Chance® sampling allows you to apply more blood which may help prevent wasting test strips and save money
  • High-performance test strips with proven accuracy
  • Automatic compensation for many common interfering substances
  • Tiny 0.6 µL blood sample
  • 5-second countdown
  • Exclusively used with CONTOUR®NEXT meters

Ascensia CONTOUR NEXT Blood Glucose Test Strips


No Coding Technology means there are less steps in testing for minimal chance of inaccurate results due to miscoding by the user.

Innovative Strip Technology

  • Ready to test, right out of the box making daily testing easy.
  • Next Generation CONTOUR NEXT test strips deliver exceptional accuracy for close to professional lab results that give you greater confidence when you test.
  • No Coding technology eliminates errors due to user mis-coding.

Exceptional Accuracy

New CONTOUR NEXT test strips technology evaluates a single sample 7 times for exceptionally accurate results.

6+ Month Expiration Date Guaranteed!

Recommended Reading: How Do Glucose Test Strips Work

Expiration Of Test Strips

For many patients who have a limited budget to juggle, two question that always come to mind is do test strips go bad and whether they can use test strips that have been expired. For the first question, test strips are only effective if the enzymes are active. Once you open a bottle of test strips, you are allowing the test strips to come in contact with humidity and all the chemicals in the atmosphere, and thus the degradation speeds up. Assuming that the test strip bottle is closed tightly after each use and the bottle has been stored according to the manufacturers directions, you can expect your test strip to remain effective for a good while. Just to give you some idea how long test strips will last, we have compiled a short list of some common test strip brands and compared their effective duration:

Assuming that the test strip bottle is closed tightly after each use and the bottle has been stored according to the manufacturers directions, you can expect your test strip to remain effective for a good while. Just to give you some idea how long test strips will last, we have compiled a short list of some common test strip brands and compared their effective duration:

Good for 90 days after you first open the bottle or until the expiration date, whichever comes first.
Nipro Diagnostics® Good for 120 days after you first open the bottle or until the expiration date, whichever comes first.

History On Glucose Test Strips

Diabetes Test Strips Cost

The first glucometer was invented by Leland C. Clark and Ann Lyons in 1962. It wasnt until early the 1980s that home glucose monitoring was made possible with the development of glucose test strips by two companies called Bayer and Roche . However, during that time, the glucose test strip was quite different from the present day product it measured blood glucose by using an enzyme to convert the blood sample glucose into a proportional amount of dye sample.

A meter then analyzed the amount of dye present by shining a beam of light on the test spot to detect how much light was absorbed by the dye. Compared to the current testing process, the old practice was much more time consuming.

Since then, test strips technology went through great advancement. In the early 90s, electrochemistry was combined with the test strip technology. The glucose oxidase enzyme was used to transform glucose into an electrical current that would then be read out by the glucometer as a glucose concentration. This has become our current glucose test strips.

Recommended Reading: Can You Treat Type 2 Diabetes With Insulin

Black Market Diabetic Testing Strips

There are currently more than 30 million patients diagnosed with diabetes in this country. Patients who have the condition are required to test their glucose levels each day. One of the most common ways to test is by using diabetic test strips. It is so common revenues from these test strips surpasses $8 billion a year.

Just about every PBM requires pharmacies to purchase diabetic test strips only from authorized suppliers. This authorization comes from the manufacturer of the strips and a list of qualified suppliers are usually listed right on the manufacturers website. Failure to adhere to this rule will result in any invoices the pharmacy submits to the PBM to be rejected.

However, due to how lucrative sales of test strips are, there is now a growing black market for the product. People who deal in black market testing strips purchase unused one from patients who have insurance and then resell the to uninsured patients.

But these black-market salespeople have found an even more profitable market selling the returned strips to pharmacies who then turn around and sell the strips to patients who do have insurance. It is a cycle that both the test strip manufacturers and PBMs are determined to break.

One Touch Verio Test Strips 200ct

The One Touch Verio test strips are designed for use with the One Touch Verio, Verio IQ and Verio Flex blood glucose meter. The Verio test strips offer side-fill technology and require a very small amount of blood for testing. Using OneTouch Verio Blood Glucose Test Strips is simple for several reasons absolutely no coding, there is flexibility to be able to test yourself using either side of the Verio test strips and it’s easy to see when you’ve applied enough blood.

Also Check: Is Nutrisystem Good For Type 2 Diabetes

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