Some kind of diabetes scam?

I’ve seen several cheaply-printed signs stapled to telephone poles around here lately:

We buy diabetic test stripes
[local area code and phone number]

What’s this all about?

From what I’ve read: Insurance companies subsidize diabetes testing strips, so some people with insurance get them cheap (e.g. $10) while for people without insurance, or with crappy insurance pay much more (e.g. $100). These people but them at a from the people who get them cheap for a premium, and sell them to uninsured people at a (to them) discount, and pocket the difference.

Perhaps they buy them from you for pennies on the dollar, then possibly resell them in countries with less rigorous laws regarding the sale of medical supplies?

Get one of those free glucose meters. The manufacturer will give you one for free, along with a box of test strips. Call up the number and sell the test strips, see what happens.

Test strips are ridiculously expensive over-the-counter (mine are over a dollar apiece, and I’m expected to test 7 times a day). Not going to give advice on how to commit an illegal act…

Chances are most of the manufacturers have stopped shipping them with test strips to avoid resale. I bought a Walgreens one and it didn’t come with strips. It also didn’t work. OneTouch meters work, but also don’t come with strips:

Why not buy them mail order from the UK. Boots (one of the biggest high street pharmacies here) has them at £19.95 ($34) for 100.

http://www.boots.com/en/Pharmacy-Health/Health-shop/Diabetes/Diabetes-shop/Blood-glucose-test-strips/

With my insurance, I paid $2.06 for the last bottle of 50 strips. Without insurance it’s over $50.

If you’re broke and not particularly honest, you might not see the harm in making a few bucks this way.

Of course, I have no friggin’ clue who the hell would be BUYING black market test strips…

Well, the people who are broke and would normally be paying the $50, for one.

Beats dying, after all. I cringe to think how they’re getting their insulin… that’s about $400 for a one-month supply for me, without insurance.

Mostly the people who have no choice. It’s either black market or nothing.

I just googled strips and there was one that was selling 50 for $10, with free shipping for a purchase of over $25. However, they would ship to Canada only.

Thanks for your answers. Amazing. What a world we live in.

Yeah, it’s called ‘insurance fraud’ and it can get you into real trouble if you get caught. I’ve been diabetic for nearly 30 years and the price of strips has remained pretty consistent at about $1 per strip regardless of the number you buy (box of 25=$25, box of 100=$100). Way back in the day before electronic meters became affordable you put a drop of blood on the strip and then just compared the color it changed to to a graph on the side of the bottle. Diabetic magazines used to sell little roller-cutters that would let you slice the test strips in half or even thirds to save money!

Right now I only have Medicaid and I still get 200 strips a month for less than $10! Not gonna get into the ethics of whether reselling them cheaply to poor people is a good thing or not…

I use ReliOn Prime, $9.00 for 50 strips at Walmart.

My doctor regularly asks me if I’m testing. I tell him (every time) that I on;y test myself periodically (as in a couple of times a month). My blood sugar is largely stable now and I know what it is, so testing is mostly pointless.

The only time I was a heavy tester was the first few months after I was diagnosed with Type II, when I was trying to nail down which foods I could eat, how my blood sugar changed and cycled, and all that.

Of course, I don’t do insulin. I expect those people would need to test several times a day.

We have a limited selection of supported glucometers (and thus, strips) with our insurance. kaylasmom has only been able to successfully test without assistance on the Prodigy Voice (not covered with our benefit). I can’t find online how much they cost at our pharmacy, but I remember price-checking them once, and coming up with a number in the neighborhood of 75 cents/strip.

At my online source, I pay about 22 cents/strip (in batches of 100).

WRT test strips given out free with a new glucometer, it’s always been my experience that you get ten strips in a new system, after which you’re on your own.

A dollar a strip??? That just boggles my mind.

My wife gets all the strips she can eat… uh, bleed on… free of charge.

She doesn’t even have to pay for any non-diabetes related prescriptions, as she gets an exemption certificate.

God bless the NHS…

Why doesn’t another company offer the strips at $0.10 each, manufactured in some gigafactory in China? What about them makes them so expensive?

Profit (read: Capitalism)

The whole point of a free market is that this isn’t supposed to happen. If the true cost of manufacturing the strips were 5 cents, that hypothetical company selling them at 10 cents would be making plenty of profit.