How to Get Rid of Old Diabetic Meters?

A few days back I was talking to a friend. My friend has been a diabetic patient for the past six years. Recently she was on a cleaning spree. And she was surprised to see the number of old diabetic meters lying in her cabinet!

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She was bothered to have unknowingly hoarded so many diabetic supplies. Since then, my friend is constantly reading articles on how to get rid of old diabetic meters.

Sadly, she was having a hard time gathering information on the topic. Hence, I thought I could spill some tea about ways to get rid of old diabetic supplies.

If you are also going through a similar phase then you do not have to worry anymore! I am going to share some helpful tips with you today. These tips not only helped my friend but also made the journey easier for the people in need.

What is a Diabetic Meter?

A diabetic meter is a medical device. It is used to measure the sugar level in the blood.

Diabetic patients need a diabetic meter to regularly check the concentration of glucose in their blood. It is small and portable.

We often take supplements to lower our sugar levels. But, to check if it worked, we need a diabetic meter.

Did you know that a diabetic meter can even last for ten years? But, there are times when you have to change your well-functioning meter with a technologically advanced one!

Diabetes, Blood Sugar, Blood Test, Diabetic, Insulin

Diabetes can impair vision. In such a case a patient needs an audible meter. So, what to do with the old diabetic meter that had served you for so long?

Why throw away when you can help someone to ease their difficulties? Recycling diabetic supplies can also save your device from going in the trash.

Besides donating and recycling, many choose to sell diabetic meters at lower prices. This act can be beneficial for both the seller and the consumer.

Donating Old Diabetic Supplies

Have you recently changed your diabetic meter? Are you now thinking of donating your old diabetic supplies? If so then this segment is going to help you understand some basic factors.

We have people around us who do not have the same facilities as us. They often fail to buy these necessary yet expensive supplies. But, our little kindness will help them have a better life.

To donate your old diabetic meters or supplies, go through the following steps:

Call the Healthcare Office:

One of the simplest ways to continue donation is through your nearest healthcare office. Contact them to know if they help to donate unused/used diabetic supplies.

If you are looking for answers to the question – “where can I donate unused insulin near me?“, then the healthcare office might be of great help. They accept these supplies and later donate them.

American Diabetes Association (ADA)

ADA is a diabetes advocacy organization that works to help diabetic patients. Contact the office that is nearest to your location.

3. National Organization: Various national organizations have made the process of donation easier. Mail your supplies to any of those organizations. A few of them are enlisted:

CR3 Diabetes Association

CR3 is an association that provides diabetic supplies and devices at a lower price value. It accepts the following as donation:

  • Medtronic insulin pumps
  • Unexpired pump supplies
  • Guardian3 sensors
  • Glucose test strips

Insulin for Life, USA

This is a non-profit organization run by the husband-wife duo, Carol and Mark. Insulin for life collects unused supplies from the people living in the USA. If you are thinking of sending insulin abroad then this organization will help you.

Currently, they are accepting the following supplies as a donation:

  • Insulin Vials
  • Insulin Pens
  • Insulin Cartridges 
  • A1C Test Kits
  • KetoStix
  • Glucagon
  • Glucose Meters
  • Glucose Strips
  • Lancing Devices
  • Syringes
  • Pen Needle
  • Lancets

SafeNetRX

SafeNetRX is another national organization working for donations related to diabetic supplies and devices. They distribute the collected donations to people living in Iowa.

Contact 1-866-282-5817 to make donations through SafeNetRX.

Personal Donation

Do you wish to give your old diabetic meter or unused supplies personally? Before doing this, you have to keep some basic things in your mind.

Medications, pumps, insulin, and other necessary supplies should be given to someone with a valid prescription. Do not just give away without checking! If the donee is having blood sugar stabilizers, ask them to talk to a physician first.

Donating personally can be a bit hard. But, do not lose hope! Check with the patient and provide them only if they are prescribed so.

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Selling Diabetic Supplies and Devices

It is fine if you would like to sell your old diabetic meters or supplies.  Plenty of options are there to sell unused diabetic supplies.

It is also great if you want to sell your unexpired supplies or devices at a minimum price. You would be surprised to know how people wait for that “diabetes supplies for sale” board to be hanged!

Some websites are there which give good value to old diabetic supplies. To get rid of the old diabetic meter, you can check those websites.

Contact your local pharmacies and healthcare centers if needed. They can help you with this process. American Medical Surplus is one of the best places to sell your old or extra diabetic supplies.

American Medical Surplus will ask you about the supplies that you want to sell. After that, they will tell you the money that you are going to receive for those products.

Once you ship them your package, they will receive it in two to four business days. You will be paid on the same day. The payment will be done according to your preferred method.

Be patient with the process as COVID-19 has impacted the transit times.

Recycling Diabetic Supplies

Are you concerned about the environment? You will be glad to know that many of the diabetic supplies are recyclable.

The batteries that come with the CGMs, monitors, and insulin pumps are recyclable. The blood glucose meters and pumps that you are no longer using can be disposed of for recycling.

Many of us use insulin pens. But the question is- can insulin pens be recycled? The answer is a bit disappointing. Even if it has 77% plastic you cannot throw it in the recycle bin.

To recycle insulin pens is yet a dream but we hope that day is not far.

You can also try omnipod recycling by following the proper instructions. Take out the battery and give that to the local battery recycler. You can directly toss the plastic tops in recycling bins.

Disposal of Diabetic Supplies

The number of diabetic patients in America is over 34 million. The number of people who are in the prediabetes stage is also not less.

Every day physicians are diagnosing new patients who developed diabetes. This increased number of diabetic patients has inflated the rate of disposal of diabetic supplies.

The good thing is that now people are more concerned about the environment. People often look for suggestions on how to dispose of unused diabetic supplies.

Lack of information sometimes confuses them. Continue reading this section if you want to know the right ways to dispose of diabetic supplies!

There is not much difference between the disposal of used and unused diabetic supplies. The used supplies are called medical waste.

Medical wastes can be harmful to others living around us. These are also bad for the environment. So, how do we get rid of this problem?

Diabetic supplies are mostly about sharp things. Starting from needles to lancets, there is always a risk of getting hurt. Place these sharps in a sharps disposal container.

Sharps disposal containers should be puncture-resistant. Make sure the containers are leak-resistant.

Collect FDA cleared containers from local pharmacies. If you cannot get them, then put the used supplies in a well-sealed household container. Avoid materials that can easily tear or break.

The one-time used needles are not only dangerous but also can be the cause of contamination. These needles, lancets, and syringes can risk anyone who comes in contact.

Follow the same process of disposing of sharps if you are worried about how to dispose of used diabetic test strips. The used test strips can be the medium of contamination and infection.

Avoid mixing the used supplies with the regular trash. Do not overfill the containers. Follow the rules of sharps disposal by state if needed

This small step will help stray animals from getting hurt. We have to ensure the safety of nature and the people around us.

Conclusion

Certainly, there are many suggestions on how to get rid of old diabetic meters! You can choose to donate, sell or recycle your old diabetic supplies.

A diabetic meter can sometimes last for ten years. But, technological advancements are taking place every now and then. If you decide to shift to a new one, it is best not to throw it away!

A fully-functional diabetic meter can cost a good amount of money. It is not possible for all to spend this amount on diabetic supplies. Your kindness will help someone out of their misery.

Contact healthcare centers and local organizations for donations. You can also sell them back to the company you bought them from at a lower price.

Finally, unexpired diabetic supplies are necessary yet costly products. Let your decision bring happiness to someone’s life!

The FAQs About Old Diabetic Meters

Old diabetic supplies can be useful in many ways. As many of us do not know the proper process to declutter, we get confused easily. Old diabetic supplies are indeed helpful if you can make the best use of those. To clear out some basic common doubts, we have picked out the most asked questions. Check out the following answers to know more!

What to do with expired diabetic test strips?

An unused diabetic test strip can be sometimes used a little longer than its expiration date. But, you might not always get the right reading.
The expired test strips have a chance of giving away a result that does not match your condition. The FDA warns patients about this.
An expired diabetic test strip might compromise the patient’s health condition. Throw away expired diabetic test strips to not get the wrong interpretation.

How to dispose of Dexcom supplies?

Disposing of Dexcom supplies can be confusing! Dexcom supplies and applicators have both plastic and metal. It cannot be put into the regular trash.
 Dexcom supplies are currently not recyclable according to their website. They are trying to create an environment-friendly applicator. Dexcom is also concerned about the contamination process.
 The blood in the Dexcom applicator may contaminate others. So, follow the local guidelines of disposing of blood-contacting materials.

Can you throw lancets in the garbage?

After using, put them in a puncture-resistant leak-proof container. You may use a lancet disposal container approved by your state.
Label the containers with “Do not recycle. Sharps inside.” This will help to inform you about the stuff inside.
Do not use glass or plastic containers. Once you are done packing the containers with heavy-duty tape and labeling, put them in a regular trash can.

What if I don’t have a sharps container?

It is possible to not have a sharps container that is issued by the hospital. You can dispose of the sharps even if you do not have a sharps container.
Collect a container that is made of heavy-duty. You can use a hard bottle of your laundry detergent.
 Needles or sharps should not puncture the container. After that label your box so that others can handle it with caution.

What to do with expired insulin?

Throwing away expired insulin that has not crossed half the bottle might feel wasteful. Some medical professionals advise storing the insulin in the fridge so that it can be used for some time after expiration.
You can sell unused insulin to the ones who are not capable of buying it on their own. If you find your insulin to be cloudy then know that it is time to throw it away.

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SM Kamal Hasan

Dr. SM Kamal Hasan, MBBS(Medicine), Rangpur Medical College and Hospital Rangpur- Dinajpur Highway, Cantt, Near Central Jail, Rangpur 5400, Bangladesh

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