Website that buys back diabetic testing supplies accused of stiffing sellers

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jun 07, 2018

A company promising to pay people for their diabetic test strips is being accused of stiffing their sellers.

Surplus Diabetic Supplies, LLC, which operates under, says on their website that they'll pay sellers within 24 hours of proper verification and inspection. However, a Maryland man said he's been waiting five months.

“People send them their test strips and they're expecting to receive some type of payment for them and they don't,” said Angie Barnett, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving greater Maryland.

The BBB has received more than 270 complaints against the company.

“There are many businesses that provide this service so because it's your health at risk, you really want to take the time to do the research and this is one company the BBB is saying let's not do business with them,” Barnett said.

WMAR2 News heard back from after the report aired. The company's CEO acknowledged payments have been delayed but said they're making payments daily and are working vigorously to make sure all customers are taken care of as fast as possible.

"This is a temporary delay and we are confident that these issues will be handled in a timely manner. We are under new ownership and as such we are catching up on previous issues as well as balancing new problems. We have dealt with numerous instances of fraud on our bank account and we have to close accounts and reissue checks. We also have began working with the BBB and are issuing a plan of action to resolve all complaints. We are currently contacting all our customers to ensure that any issues are dealt with in a timely manner. We apologize for the inconvenience that this causes and we are working vigorously to resolve issue. We stand by our word and assure all our customers they will be paid."

- Jonathan, CEO

To understand why someone would sell their diabetic testing strips, just look at the cost. A generic may run you $40 while brand names can be as much as $160. That's without insurance and for around a one-month supply.

Good insurance will cover all or most of it, but not everyone is that fortunate. Resellers see the demand for a cheaper product and with demand there needs to be a supply. It comes from people with surplus strips or some who are desperate enough to risk their health to make a few dollars.

Compromised testing strips can have a negative impact on your health, particularly if they’re not stored at room temperature.

“If it's too hot or too cold where the test strip is stored that can affect how the test strip functions and how accurate that reading is. And you don't know how the previous consumer stored that test strip, so there's a danger there,” said Syed Shirazie, a pharmacy supervisor at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

That reading determines the amount of insulin to inject into your body to keep it functioning properly.
Not having the manufacturer's expiration date is also a hazard.

“If you go outside that window then you don't get a proper glucose reading and you could end up in the hospital,” said Shirazie.

The pharmacy and insurance industries aren't oblivious to what's been going on. This emerging market is frowned upon because of its health ramifications but it's technically legal but has some limitations.

“If you buy or sell a test strip that's been paid for by Medicare or Medicaid, which is government subsidized funding then it is illegal to do that,” Shirazie.

Shirazie also recommends reaching out to your insurer to check that you're getting the cheapest option for diabetic test strips from your pharmacist.