Can I sell my deceased cat's new insulin & new needles?
June 23, 2014 7:16 PM   Subscribe

We have brand-new, unused needles and a new, unopened Lantus insulin vial that we had bought for our cat, but our cat passed away late last month. We can't seem to figure out if it's legal to resell these prescription items. Is it?

They were bought from our local pharmacy in New Jersey, and we asked our vet (who happens to be across the river in NYC) but they said they cannot take them. Googling around leaves me confused about the legality of trying to resell them in NJ (for instance, via our apartment building's bulletin board). We could resort to donating them to an animal shelter, but the items were expensive enough that we first wanted to try to recoup some of the costs if we can.
posted by StrawberryPie to Pets & Animals (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't know about the legality of selling, but I had leftover arthritis drugs when my dog died and no vet or rescue/shelter would take them. There's no way to verify that they haven't been tampered with. Your best bet is likely someone whom you actually know who has a diabetic cat, but I assume that if you knew such a person you would already have pursued that possibility.

Oh, and if you're interested in the legality, you should probably post a location.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:38 PM on June 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: No, it is illegal under Federal law.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:51 PM on June 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

And I'm sorry for your loss. You may find a shelter that will take them as a donation, since they are unopened.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:55 PM on June 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: you should probably post a location — Sorry about that; I thought it was enough to mention the state (NJ), but I guess not. It's Hoboken, NJ.

@Rock Steady: argh, that's what I was afraid of. Thanks for finding that link to the legal info. I guess that settles that. I guess it's down to asking shelters now.
posted by StrawberryPie at 8:09 PM on June 23, 2014

My bad, of course. I missed the state.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:23 PM on June 23, 2014

I am so sorry for your loss and I hope that a shelter or other animal assistance outfit will be able to accept your supplies and use them for the benefit of other animals.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 9:03 PM on June 23, 2014

oh pish tosh. give them to your vet. they should happily take them to a) use with their pro bono/shelter clients or b) give to their "poor" clients. that's what we did with our cat's cancer meds. no one wants this stuff to go to waste.

on edit, i missed that you didn't buy them directly from your vet. we bought from our vet which is why they likely took them back.

so i revise my pish tosh. sure it's technically illegal, but there are lots of cat owners with diabetic kitties who would love to have the meds. just get on a board and you'll find someone.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:59 PM on June 23, 2014

I gave away the packaged needles on Freecycle. Selling--ain't probably gonna happen.
posted by RedEmma at 5:51 AM on June 24, 2014

my vet would not take back meds they had sold me - they can't verify that they haven't been tampered with.

You will have to either toss them or give them to someone who knows & trusts you.

I'm sorry for your loss.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:07 AM on June 24, 2014

Best answer: If a shelter isn't interested, a feline rescue (much less official operation) might be interested
posted by Jesse the K at 9:50 AM on June 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I'm sorry for your loss, StrawberryPie. I'm also in Hoboken. I don't know if the hospital on Washington will take them, but they work with a rescue group who might be able to. Alternatively, you can try Liberty Humane Society. There are a lot of kitties there, and I wouldn't be surprised if some are diabetic.
posted by Wet Hen at 2:33 PM on June 24, 2014

I don't see anything in Rock Steady's link that says that selling the syringes is illegal. According to that link only selling the insulin would be illegal.
posted by I-baLL at 2:41 PM on June 24, 2014

Depending on your location, sterile syringes may be a prescription item or otherwise restricted.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:00 PM on June 24, 2014

Response by poster: @Wet Hen: Thanks for the tips—those are in fact exactly the two organizations I was going to contact (and I've even made donations to both of them in the recent past). Right now I'm just waiting to hear back from a colleague I contacted, but if that falls through, they're next on my list.

misanthropicsarah: I am tempted to post this on local bulletin boards, really I am, but beside the legality issue, it makes me uncomfortable that I would have no way of knowing what the recipient would really do. (I would probably give you a run for your money as a misanthrope. I should have called myself MisanthropicMike.)

Also, thanks, everyone, for your kind words of sympathy. Our cat Squirrel lived to be 16 years old, which is not too bad. Her last couple of years were not as good as the ones before, due to multiple health issues (diabetes being just one), but the last few months she got progressively worse. We tried really hard to keep her going, but ...
posted by StrawberryPie at 8:43 PM on June 24, 2014

Are there wild-animal sanctuaries that could take them? I live in the UK and work in a hospital, and one of the nurses I worked with once used to collect equipment that was past its sell-by date to give to a hedgehog sanctuary, which apparently was very grateful for the donations.
posted by Acheman at 11:43 PM on June 26, 2014

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