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Diabetes Bites Newsletter

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The Underground Exchange of Diabetes Medications and Supplies: Donating, Trading, and Borrowing, Oh My!

diabetes supply sharingMedication and supply costs are rising for people with diabetes.

As a result, many are facing challenges getting their necessary medications. An online survey study assessed the prevalence and factors predicting underground exchange activities including donating, trading, borrowing, and purchasing diabetes medications and supplies.

The results were as follows: 56.6% of patients self-reported in underground exchange, 34.6% to receiving donations, 23.9% trading, 15.1% purchasing, and 22% borrowing. The exchanges occurred between a variety of people including friends, family, coworkers, online acquaintances and strangers.

A big takeaway is that over half of the participants in this study engaged in underground exchange activities out of necessity. As people with diabetes, we are aware that there is an urgent need to improve access to medications. Groups such as T1international advocate for fair costs on the medications that keep us alive.

The publishers of the study point out that it is a failure in the US healthcare system. Underground exchanges would be less necessary if medications and supplies were affordable.

Where to donate diabetes supplies

  • If you are a person seeking to donate supplies you no longer need you can send them to us at Integrated Diabetes Services.
  • For supply donations/trades you can also utilize resources such as the HelpAround app, social media groups of people with diabetes(ex. Local T1D chapter), diabetes camps, and clinics.

Read the original article: Sage Journals

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