Can I Buy Used Insulin Pumps?

| Oct 1, 2001

Q: Last summer, through one of your links, I found a few used MiniMed pumps for sale—$1,500 or so—and now I can't find the link.

Do you have any information on where to pick up a used pump?

Tiffany Flowers

A: This question is a bit probematic. An insulin pump is a regulated medical device that can only be dispensed with a prescription. Assuming that this matter could be taken care of, the second problem is knowing the condition of the pump and the warranty remaining—if any. The pump companies address this in that, for a nominal fee (about $50), the registration for a particular pump can be changed from one owner to another. This cannot be done, however, until it can be determined that the person in question has the training necessary to use the device and that the requisite medical-support team is in place and willing to sign off on the process.

As far as I know, each of the pump companies has a refurbishment program where, for a fee of around $500, they will refurbish the pump, bring it up to its original specifications and warranty it for some period of time. There remain some legal questions that should be answered prior to purchasing a used pump:

  • Who really owns it: the seller or their insurance company?
  • Was it purchased outright or is it a leased pump?

As far as where they can be bought, pumps appear from time to time on and on other auction sites.

I would strongly suggest that you ask Animas, Disetronic and MiniMed about their specific policies on pump transfers and the availability of refurbished equipment. This question does not have one "right" answer, though it does have many wrong ones.



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