Pulse

Say ‘no’ to pre-used blood sugar test strips

| Updated on January 12, 2018

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Using a glucose meter to check and monitor blood sugar is a daily part of life for millions of Americans with diabetes. Glucose meters and test strips are medical devices regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. And the FDA wants to make sure you use these devices safely.

Beware of buying previously owned test strips, says the regulator. The FDA is aware that some sellers are marketing pre-owned or second-hand test strips to consumers. These are unused test strips previously owned by someone else.

These pre-owned strips may be sold at lower prices when compared to new strips. For instance, you may see flyers advertising cheap test strips in your neighbourhood, or you may see sellers marketing cheap test strips online.

It is technically legal for people to resell their test strips. But the FDA does not recommend that you buy pre-owned test strips or that you resell your unused strips.That’s because pre-owned strips can give incorrect results—and may not be safe to use with your device.

Test strips should be properly stored to give accurate results. If you buy pre-owned strips, it is hard to know whether the strips were stored properly. Test strips also could have expired. A lack of proper storage or using expired strips could put you at risk for getting incorrect results from your glucose meter. And incorrect results can put you at risk for serious health complications—and even death.

Test strip vials that have been opened by another person may have small amounts of blood on them, which can put you at risk for infection. Pre-owned test strip vials may have been tampered with, which means that they may not be safe to use. (For instance, the expiration dates might have been changed or covered up.)

The bottomline? The FDA recommends that you buy unopened vials of glucose test strips designed for your meter—and that you do not buy pre-owned test strips.

Source: USFDA

Published on May 26, 2017

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