diabetestalk.net

What Are Diabetic Test Strips Used For?

I-team: Diabetic Test Strips Becoming Hot Commodity

I-team: Diabetic Test Strips Becoming Hot Commodity

Some strips retail for more than $80 per box, Deborah Weiner finds BALTIMORE — The WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team has discovered that there's growing concern in Maryland surrounding the resale of test strips that are used many times a day by diabetics. "I'm going to talk about diabetic testing supplies because they can make you money," a YouTube video says. It may seem like an unlikely get-rich-quick plan, but as the YouTube video shows, it is a growing industry. "I specifically mean the test strips, because lancets aren't worth that much," the person in the video goes on to say. There are also roadside signs, such as some in Baltimore, that solicit cash for diabetic test strips, which are a lifeline for diabetics like 24-year-old Devin Jackson, who monitors her glucose level six to 10 times a day. "In the long run, that can save you from tons of complications, from going blind to kidney problems. So, it's super important to be able to test your blood sugar multiple times a day," she said. Despite that critical routine, people are selling their unused strips at storefronts in Baltimore and in other locations. The I-Team sent a WBAL employee there to see if he could sell some test strips, but the store was very specific about what it wanted, and it didn't want the type he had. "I didn't have the brands that they liked, and they actually do want it in full box form," the unidentified WBAL employee said. On Craigslist, the I-Team found a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, man who offered reporter Deborah Weiner $11 for an unopened box of 50 strips and $13 for another brand. If he resells them, which Weiner assumed he would do, the profit could be huge because the strips retail for more than $80 a box. "I was initially very disturbed," said Dr. Sherita Golden, of the Johns Hopkins School o Continue reading >>

Going Undercover To Investigate Selling Test Strips For Cash

Going Undercover To Investigate Selling Test Strips For Cash

Maybe you've seen the "Diabetic Strips" signs on the side of the road in your state and also wondered what actually happens when you call one of the numbers listed... We wrote about organizations dealing in test strips cheap-for-cash in our post "Test Strip Charities" last year, but without the extra bonus of having an undercover "secret shopper" to check the service out. Now our talented cartoonist, D-Advocate and correspondent Mike Lawson offered to make that happen by following up on one of these surprising road-side signs. Read on to discover what Mike found out! Special to the 'Mine by Mr. Mike Lawson I felt like Woodward. No...I felt like Bernstein. Wait. Which one did Robert Redford play in All The President's Men? That's the one I felt like. I was sitting in a McDonald's parking lot in Scottsdale, Arizona, waiting for a man named Marcus to meet me so I could sell a box of 50 test strips. I arranged this meeting by calling a phone number that I saw on a road-side sign in Phoenix that said "Ca$h Paid For Diabetic Strips." It is not illegal for companies to buy and sell test strips like this — although the companies are required to register with the FDA and many fail to do so — yet this transaction still felt a little shady. When I called the number, for example, I wasn't greeted with a company name but just by a woman who identified herself as "Stephanie." Stephanie told me that there was no physical building for me to drop off the strips, but rather a courier would be sent to me. Stephanie also told me that the price paid for strips varied based on the brand and the expiration date. So I could sell this box of One Touch strips that I purchased for $10 on my private insurance to this unnamed company for $20. And this same box of strips will sell for $40 or mor Continue reading >>

The Street Value Of Diabetic Test Strips

The Street Value Of Diabetic Test Strips

This sign appeared at the intersection of Clark and Golfside today, near Washtenaw Community College. My friend Kristin sent it to me and some other folks. Our mutual friend, Monica, then did some online detective work, finding the following about the woman likely responsible for the sign. Rachel Rounsifer, Ph.D., Behavioral Scientist, is a full-time Internet Entrepreneur and Business woman. She is the niece of business mogul, Dr. Leonard Silk, former Financial Editor of the New York Times/world renowned Economist. Rachel coaches and mentors other Internet entrepreneurs from their homes in the methods to earn multiple six-figure incomes. I’m not sure what the angle is, or, for that matter, whether the sign says $10 or $1,000. As a box of 50 can be had on Amazon for a little over $20, I’m guessing that the sign says $10. But, I suppose by “box” they could mean “crate.” It’s confusing. I’m also not clear as to whether or not she’s looking for used or unused strips. I can’t imagine that she’s looking for used ones, but you never know. Maybe used strips can be smoked or something. And, it doesn’t seem to me as though this is the kind of thing that someone would have extra of, if we’re talking about unused ones. Wouldn’t you need them until you were dead, if you were suffering from diabetes? My only guess is that maybe this has to do with insurance. Maybe people who don’t need them are having them prescribed, and then selling them at below market value for cash. Or, more likely, they just don’t use all the ones that their allotted before they expire, and there’s an underground economy for these extras. One would imagine that folks without insurance would, after all, rather buy a box from someone for $10 than buy a new box for $22. So maybe t Continue reading >>

Anatomy Of A Test Strip

Anatomy Of A Test Strip

Each tiny bit of plastic contains big technology Layers of Strip Science: Each test-strip brand has its own technology and design. Click HERE to download a PDF of a cross-section that shows the key parts of a sample strip. It's all too easy to overlook the humble test strip or balk at its price tag. But these stalwarts of diabetes care are more than mere pieces of plasticthey contain layer upon layer of cutting-edge science and engineering. The story of test strips is also a tale about how technology has made living with diabetes, and staying healthy, easier. Test strips have come a long way over the past few decades. When blood glucose testing first made its way from the clinic into homes in the 1980s, the technology behind strips was fundamentally different from today. Early test strips measured blood glucose by using an enzyme to convert the glucose in a drop of blood into a proportional amount of dye. The meter measured the amount of dye by shining a beam of light on the test spot and detecting how much of the light was absorbed by the dye. The process worked, but it was tedious. "These meters were difficult to operate," says Selly Saini, the worldwide director of strip products for Johnson & Johnson, who has been developing test strips for 25 years. "There were lots of steps involved. It took a lot of blood and was time consuming." Test strips underwent a dramatic change in the late '80s and early '90s when they began to feature electrochemistry, the science of turning chemical reactions into electricity. "The breakthrough was getting enzymes to create an electrochemical signal when exposed to blood," says Saini. Electrochemical test strips, the world standard today, also employ enzymes, but instead of making dye, they convert glucose into an electrical current. T Continue reading >>

Glucose Meter

Glucose Meter

Four generations of blood glucose meter, c. 1993–2005. Sample sizes vary from 30 to 0.3 μl. Test times vary from 5 seconds to 2 minutes (modern meters typically provide results in 5 seconds). A glucose meter is a medical device for determining the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood. It can also be a strip of glucose paper dipped into a substance and measured to the glucose chart. It is a key element of home blood glucose monitoring (HBGM) by people with diabetes mellitus or hypoglycemia. A small drop of blood, obtained by pricking the skin with a lancet, is placed on a disposable test strip that the meter reads and uses to calculate the blood glucose level. The meter then displays the level in units of mg/dl or mmol/l. Since approximately 1980, a primary goal of the management of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus has been achieving closer-to-normal levels of glucose in the blood for as much of the time as possible, guided by HBGM several times a day. The benefits include a reduction in the occurrence rate and severity of long-term complications from hyperglycemia as well as a reduction in the short-term, potentially life-threatening complications of hypoglycemia. History[edit] Leland Clark presented his first paper about the oxygen electrode, later named the Clark electrode, on 15 April 1956, at a meeting of the American Society for Artificial Organs during the annual meetings of the Federated Societies for Experimental Biology.[1][2] In 1962, Clark and Ann Lyons from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital developed the first glucose enzyme electrode. This biosensor was based on a thin layer of glucose oxidase (GOx) on an oxygen electrode. Thus, the readout was the amount of oxygen consumed by GOx during the enzymatic reaction with the substra Continue reading >>

The Murky World Of Secondhand Diabetic Test Strips03:52

The Murky World Of Secondhand Diabetic Test Strips03:52

Chelsea Arnold was getting into debt over tiny pieces of plastic: diabetic test strips. When Arnold was first diagnosed with diabetes she needed to test her blood sugar 10 times a day. She went to Wal-Mart and found that one box, which contained only a five-day supply of test strips, was $80. Arnold called her parents and told them she didn't know what to do. She didn't have the money. Arnold then did what a lot of people do when they need help: She searched on Google. She typed in the words "cheap test strips," and Craigslist came up. She bought eight boxes for less than $100. At Wal-Mart, she would have paid $640. Arnold said, "it was like having a life sentence and then realizing that there's a cure." With this Google search, Arnold stumbled into an underground economy for diabetic supplies. It's a market that offers a lower-cost option for test strips, though it is hard for customers to know where the boxes come from. Some boxes may be repackaged and unsafe to use, and some boxes are sold by diabetics who are desperate for cash. But many of them come from people who have health insurance and have accumulated extra test strips. Trey falls into this category. (He asked us not to use his last name, because he fears retribution from his insurance company, even though he feels he hasn't broken any laws.) He moved from one type of blood sugar monitoring system to another type of monitoring system and ended up with 20 extra test strip boxes. At that point, Trey began researching. He said, "Obviously No. 1: Is it legal to be able to sell test strips?" Trey realized that it is legal, with a caveat. "It's kind of a gray market as long as you don't get them from Medicare and Medicaid," he said. Trey then found a local buyer on Craigslist. It starts to look a little seedy here. Continue reading >>

Answer Man: Why Is Someone Buying Diabetic Test Strips?

Answer Man: Why Is Someone Buying Diabetic Test Strips?

Answer Man: Why is someone buying diabetic test strips? Why am I seeing all these signs around town about buying diabetic test strips? Answer Man: Why is someone buying diabetic test strips? Why am I seeing all these signs around town about buying diabetic test strips? Check out this story on news-leader.com: A link has been sent to your friend's email address. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Answer Man: Why is someone buying diabetic test strips? Steve Pokin, [email protected] Published 10:55 a.m. CT Aug. 20, 2015 Answer Man: I keep seeing these signs all around town and I wonder: Why would someone want cash for diabetic test strips? Am I getting the strips or selling them to this person? Also, if Im someone who needs diabetic test strips, should I be buying them for whoever this is? -- Trevor Mitchell, of Springfield Leave it to a reporter to sneak in three questions instead of one. Trevor works the night shift here at the paper. The signs say Cash 4 Diabetic Test Strips. After receiving Trevors question, I went to investigate and spotted three such signs at the intersection of National Avenue and Elm Street. I called the phone number on the sign and talked to a man who when I told him I was a reporter immediately feared I was going to do a hatchet job on his business. He would not give me his name and would not tell me the name of his company. I have run into every newspaper company there is, he told me. You guys are trying to tear me apart. You dont need to know how long Ive been doing this. That was one of my questions: How long have you been doing this type of work? I sensed some reluctance on his part. But heres what he did tell me: He pays cash for unexpired strips, which are used to test and monitor a diabetics level of blood sugar. I sell t Continue reading >>

Cbs4 Investigates Black Market Diabetes Test Strips

Cbs4 Investigates Black Market Diabetes Test Strips

Contact CBS4 | Employment | Community | Closed Captioning | History CBS4 Investigates Black Market Diabetes Test Strips Filed Under: Barbara Davis Diabetes Center , CBS4 Investigates , Diabetes , Diabetic Test Strips , eBay , FDA , Rick Sallinger , Satish Garg A sign CBS4 found outside a pharmacy (credit: CBS) DENVER (CBS4) A CBS4 investigation has uncovered an alarming practice that has the director of one of the nations leading diabetes centers and journals issuing a warning to patients. The warning is to stay away from diabetes test strips being sold on the black market at a fraction of the retail cost. CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger found problems that could jeopardize the health of those who rely on them. The little strips can mean the difference between health and illness and possibly even death for someone with diabetes. Sallinger found recalled, expired, even counterfeit strips being sold in violation of state and federal laws and possibly risking the lives of those who buy them. CBS4 noticed an unusual sign posted along a road just outside a pharmacy that said Cash paid for diabetic test strips Call Rick and the sign has a phone number. At least one motorist Dave Honeyman found it odd. What do you see next? Cash for socks I guess if somebody thinks they are worth something, Honeyman said. To people with diabetes the little strips are certainly worth something. They cost only a few cents to make, but sell for $1 or more each. A 3-month supply for me runs about $1,000, said Chris Ainsworth, who is diabetic. Diabetics may test up to seven to 10 times a day, taking a drop of blood putting it on the strip in a meter to find out if their blood sugar level is too high or too low. The consequences can be serious. Andrea Houck is a diabetic and also a nurse who runs Continue reading >>

The Murky World Of Secondhand Diabetic Test Strips

The Murky World Of Secondhand Diabetic Test Strips

Chelsea Arnold was getting into debt over tiny pieces of plastic: diabetic test strips. When Arnold was first diagnosed with diabetes she needed to test her blood sugar 10 times a day. She went to Wal-Mart and found that one box, which contained only a five-day supply of test strips, was $80. Arnold called her parents and told them she didn't know what to do. She didn't have the money. Arnold then did what a lot of people do when they need help: She searched on Google. She typed in the words "cheap test strips," and Craigslist came up. She bought eight boxes for less than $100. At Wal-Mart, she would have paid $640. Arnold said, "it was like having a life sentence and then realizing that there's a cure." With this Google search, Arnold stumbled into an underground economy for diabetic supplies. It's a market that offers a lower-cost option for test strips, though it is hard for customers to know where the boxes come from. Some boxes may be repackaged and unsafe to use, and some boxes are sold by diabetics who are desperate for cash. But many of them come from people who have health insurance and have accumulated extra test strips. Trey falls into this category. (He asked us not to use his last name, because he fears retribution from his insurance company, even though he feels he hasn't broken any laws.) He moved from one type of blood sugar monitoring system to another type of monitoring system and ended up with 20 extra test strip boxes. At that point, Trey began researching. He said, "Obviously No. 1: Is it legal to be able to sell test strips?" Trey realized that it is legal, with a caveat. "It's kind of a gray market as long as you don't get them from Medicare and Medicaid," he said. Trey then found a local buyer on Craigslist. It starts to look a little seedy here. Continue reading >>

Why Is Someone Buying Diabetic Test Strips In York?

Why Is Someone Buying Diabetic Test Strips In York?

Type 2 diabetes can wreak havoc on your health. While lifestyle changes can help keep diabetes under control, many patients require oral medications or insulin injections as forms of treatment, too. Watch the video for how diabetes affects your body. Time An unusual offer is popping up on roadside signs around York County — an offer to buy diabetic test strips. About 6 million people in the U.S. use insulin to manage their diabetes, according to Matt Petersen, a managing director at American Diabetes Association. Those people use the test strips, along with a device called a glucometer, to check their blood glucose levels. "Test strips are absolutely necessary for anyone who uses insulin to be able to safely adjust the dose of insulin to a person’s blood glucose levels," Petersen said in an email. "They are also helpful for people with diabetes who don’t use insulin to know how well they’re managing their diabetes." However, not all people have the right amount of test strips, Petersen said. Some have too many, and others don't have enough, creating the unusual resale market. Diabetic test strips are expensive, and for some people with diabetes, insurance doesn’t provide as many strips as a health care provider might recommend, said Rachel Kostelac, spokeswoman for Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Particularly, those with Type I diabetes might need more test strips than their insurance provides, said Debra Bell, Family First Health director of clinical quality improvement. "A (Type I) person has to have some way to check their blood sugar because their pancreas doesn't create insulin." In contrast, those with well-managed Type II diabetes might end up with an excess of test strips, Petersen said. "Some people are provided a fixed number of test strip Continue reading >>

Why People Have Started Selling Diabetic Test Strips

Why People Have Started Selling Diabetic Test Strips

Are you wondering why people have started to sell diabetic test strips? There are a few interesting reasons. Read our article to learn all about them. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes. That’s 9.3% of the population. For those with diabetes, diabetic test strips are essential for their treatment. In “Test strip supply linked to better diabetes care” The Chicago Tribune references a study that proves more access to strips means better health for diabetes patients. Unfortunately, not everyone is getting the amount of diabetic test strips they need to maintain their health. Diabetic test strips are in such high demand people have begun to sell diabetic test strips. In fact, there is a such a frenzy for the product, retailers like CVS have started storing diabetic test strips behind locked glass to deter robberies. Unfortunately, the need is so great, there are individuals who are taking care of the system. They try to trick diabetes sufferers and steal important information. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has linked diabetic test strips to fraud and misbehavior. Even so, diabetic test strips are a necessary tool for treating the disease. You may even be surprised to find that retailers have started buying diabetic test strips back from third parties to sell to their customers. Those who have access to an extra supply may be considering how to sell them legally. They may wonder how can I sell diabetic test strips? Others who may have watched a news story, caught an internet ad, or even spied a sign advertising diabetic in their neighborhood may be curious: Why Have People Started Selling Diabetic Test Strips? Ready to find out? Let’s go: There’s a Major Need First off, there Continue reading >>

Why Do Test Strips Cost So Much?

Why Do Test Strips Cost So Much?

Have you looked at test strip prices and thought, “These should be made of gold?” Well, they are made of gold, along with other costly chemicals. But some cost 16 cents apiece; others cost $1 to $2. Why this range? What price is right? Spurred by some comments from DSM reader John C, I decided to research test strips, and they’re amazing. In fact, I will need two columns to explore them and the issues involved in their best use. To understand how test strips work, you would need to know quantum mechanics and electrochemistry (whatever that is), and I don’t. Here’s the part I could understand: Modern strips work by measuring the electrical energy in glucose in the blood. According to an article by Erika Gebel, PhD, in Diabetes Forecast, “Electrochemical test strips, the world standard today, employ enzymes…that convert glucose into an electrical current. That electricity…is read out by the meter as a glucose concentration.” It’s much faster than the old way, which was based on reading a color change, and requires much less blood. Apparently, working with enzymes is hard. “You want hydration around the enzyme to keep it active, but not too much because that will lead to degradation,” says Selly Saini, the worldwide director of strip products for Johnson & Johnson. “That’s a fine balance.” Because they use enzymes, strips are delicate. According to Dr. Gebel, exposure to humidity or temperature extremes can damage the enzymes, reducing accuracy. But “strip makers have partly tamed enzymes and increased their life span by incorporating chemicals that stabilize them.” So the colored patch at the end of the strip includes absorbents to soak up blood and enzymes to turn it into electricity and stabilizers to protect the enzymes. Then the elect Continue reading >>

Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Test Strips

Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Test Strips

Update: A lot of our readers ask us where can they find the best deals for test strips. We personally recommend Amazon. You can check the list of selections they offer by clicking here. 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: Table of Contents History on Glucose Test Strips How Does the Test Strips Work Why Are the Strips So Expensive? And Why the Price Discrepancy? Why Must Diabetic Patients Use Glucometer and Test Strip? How Often Should You Administer A Blood Glucose Test? How to Find Out if Your Glucose Monitor is Accurate? How Accurate Are the Test Strips? How to Find Out if Your Glucose Monitor is Accurate? What is a Urine Glucose Test? Can’t I Use This Procedure Instead? Expiration of Test Strips Medicare Plan B Coverage for Glucose Test Strips Where to Get the Best Deal on Test Strips? Ways to Save of Test Strips How to Avoid Counterfeit Blood Glucose Test Strips Can You Reuse Test Strips? Can You Make Your Own Test Strip? 4 Most Affordable Meters How to Pick the Right Glucometer? How to Dispose Used Test Strips, Lancets, and Needles? What to Do with All These Test Strip Containers? Selling Your Glucose Test Strips A Good Idea? Odd Way to Earn Some Money Back Questions? History on Glucose Test Strips The first glucomet Continue reading >>

Diabetes Test Strips

Diabetes Test Strips

Tweet Blood glucose test strips (diabetes test strips) are a key component of blood glucose testing. These small disposable strips of plastic may look insignificant but they provide a very important role in helping people with diabetes to monitor and control their diabetes. In the vast majority of cases, each meter will take one type of test strip only. There are some blood glucose meters however that take blood ketone strips as well, to test for ketone levels. How do diabetes test strips work? When blood is placed onto the test strip, it reacts with a chemical called glucose oxidase producing gluconic acid from the glucose in the blood. At the other end of the test strip, the meter transfers a current to the test strip. The test strip has electric terminals which allow the meter to measure the current between the terminals. The current between the terminals changes depending on the level of gluconic acid that has been produced. The blood glucose meter then uses an algorithm to work out the blood glucose level based upon the difference in current. Some blood glucose test strips allow the reapplication of more blood to the same test strip if needed during the test. The amount of blood required by a test strip can vary between manufacturers. Generally, between 0.5 μl to 1 μl of blood is required. Some test strips, not so commonly used these days, do not require a meter. When blood is placed on the active part of the strip and then wiped off after a specified number of seconds, the reagent will change colour and the result can be obtained by matching the colour of against a colour chart on the side of the pot. It is less accurate than using a blood glucose meter but the test strips can often be cheaper. Where can I get test strips? Within the UK, blood glucose test strip Continue reading >>

21 Ways To Reuse Test Strip Containers

21 Ways To Reuse Test Strip Containers

Got a lot of type 1 diabetes waste building up? Not all of it has to go in the trash—here are a handful of clever ways D-parents and people with diabetes have found to reuse and repurpose test strip containers after the goods are gone. So Easy Sewing Kit A test strip container is just the right size for a few needles, a small spool of thread, tiny sewing scissors, pins, and safety pins. Throw it in your glove compartment or bag and be ready the next time something rips or tears when you’re on the go. Geocache Container Geocaching can be a fun family hobby that gets kids outdoors and active. Want to play along? Repurpose strip containers as mini geocaches, seeded with a few tiny trinkets or a find log. Hide the cache in a secret place, log the location on Geocaching.com, and wait to see who discovers it! Crafty Gifts “My son is almost 11 and we are not crafty at all—but my neighbors are! That’s why we give all our test strip containers to a precious 8-year-old girl who uses them to store the tiny beads she uses to make personalized bracelets.” —Dena P., mom of Reid and blogger at ShotMama.com Cat Toy To give your cat a thrill, put some jingle bells inside the canister and watch as he bats it across the floor. For added excitement, add some catnip in there too! Cats’ sense of smell is strong enough to detect the enticing aroma through the sealed lid. Candy Stash “We have used cleaned-out vials for quick-acting carbs. We remove the labels, clean them out, and fill them with tiny candies so that Caleb has a handy carb fix ready when he needs it.” —Lorraine, mom of 12-year-old Caleb and blogger at ThisIsCaleb.com Dollhouse Furniture You know what Barbie® could really use in her kitchen? A sleek, canister-style garbage can! Scrub labels off the containe Continue reading >>

More in diabetes