Manny I can say for a fact I would ove to be able to get all my drugs and Diabetes supplysfrom one place. I use Diabetes Asess to get my bs and meter supplies so you might try them for support. I, myself cannot send any money to help you out at this time but maybe in the near future I can. Sorry but Dr’s and hospitals and drugs are costing me a arm and leg right now and both my husband and I aredrawing disability and we have our youngest graduating next year along with my oldest having another package of joy coming in March. But I will see what I can do with the others around here and see what they can do.
Thank you for creating this site and looking for ways to improve it. As a soon to be new pumper I am glad that that event started me looking for input. That lead me to this site.
To the idea of shopping: Its a good idea, but we need to get people to remember to do it. Perhaps an online portal through TuDiabetes.
Merchandise: Great idea. Promotes awareness of the site and perhaps non-D’s will stop the wearer and ask for info. More and more people are being diagnosed every day, so we should share the info that we know.
Sponsorship: Also excellent. But the monies should go to the board/site. Web hosting isn’t cheap. And if the site needs upgrades, additional packages, etc. Then that money needs to come from somewhere. However if you want to reward the users for arriving at these events, gift certs to the online store, or donations of supplies such as test strips might be worth looking into.
I’ve received no spam at all to the address I signed up with - this is one of about 3 sites that have this address. I’d assume you got added to a list from another site or company.
This is a really tricky issue.
I like the idea of products, but I know it can be hard to make a profit with something like cafepress, because so much of the money goes to cafe instead of the store owner. Buying in bulk from a manufacturer would let you sell for cheaper, but then you have to be your own shipper which is another level of adminstration (and therefore time). But you could try offering smaller items, like keychains or mousepads that can be bought in large quantities for an initial investment. ( I never wear shirts with logos on them unless I’m at a convention, so I’ll admit to being a little biased here.)
I think a ‘donate’ button would be a great idea, whatever else you choose to do.
Another idea would be some kind of rotating (yearly? monthly?) fundraiser, like an auction, or raffle or simply a donation drive.
This is the Key:
Would you like to see us inviting drug companies, pump companies, meter companies, etc. perhaps in a role of conducting online versions of focus groups for a fee that they would pay, a percent of which could go to the members that participate in them?
In my opinion if this is a members only pay site, the site will not last long. This site is excellent, however when you have to pay for it, you may think twice. Sponsorship is the key as noted above. There are many large companies who would like exposure to a group of a diabetic niche environment.
I like the TuDiabetes merchandising idea. I can see myself in some cool Andreina designed TuDiabetes polo-shirts, etc.
Manny, you can use printing services for low-cost (and sometimes free promos as VistaPrint.com runs all the time) to get t-shirts done and create your own online store free rather than use Cafe Press type stores. A little more work but more goes to the company selling. If you do not want to pay for online store software you can use PayPal buttons and store features for free (of course they will take a small percentage when someone pays using PayPal).
The other place your name gets picked up is by spammers and spam robots joining forums and actually viewing member posts to get email addresses. Since tuDiabetes uses the picture codes to join this forum it is unlikely (almost impossible) that robots are joining tuDiabetes and gathering info. But if you ever join a group that does not ask you to “prove” you are a human, consider your email info at risk. You are then emailed by a robot to see if the address is valid (this is why you get emails with the option to unsubscribe).
The WORST things you can do is unsubscribe from any mail list you did not join. Spammers take this “unsubscribe” reply from you and use it to verify your email address is real and then sell it. If you do get unsolicited email report it as spam (unless you are using email forwarding like in Outllook as this will report the forwarding service not the sender as a spammer and get your host banned instead) and block the sender – but never reply.
And, if you get email from someone you do not know with a return receipt NEVER send the receipt. This tells the spammer your email address is valid. All it takes is one reply to these spam messages and suddenly you are flooded with them.
Jennifer is right – especially if the item is expired or is a prescription item. Our nonprofit (because of laws) throws away all donations of expired items immediately as well as used items that may have been contaimnated by blood (lancing devices and glucometers). To sell or distribute medical items (at least in the US) you are required to be a licensed pharmacist or other health professional.
Laws are really, really tricky. Some states do not require an Rx for syringes but many do and even within each state any number of local counties may have ordinances that further restrict the sale/disbursement even when state law dows permit it (some by quantity, others require you have to have an insulin prescription on file, and I know of at least two counties that cannot sell syringes after 10 pm.).
A word of caution to those in Canada and some places in the US – if you sell (or give away) a medical device like an insulin pump the ownership cannot be transferred from the original owner. That is, if you get a pump then sell it on eBay (or elsewhere) you cannot be released – even with a signed waiver – of liability should the pump fail or harm the new owner. If they resell the pumpe later the liability still falls on you. The only way to get rid of a pump without having liability risk is to give it back the pump company (you can ask for a credit or for the pump to be donated) or donate it to a nonprofit (who can take the ownership responsibility). Selling or giving away medical stuff to private indfividuals is also a case of SELLER not just BUYER beware.
Just a word of caution about Google’s referral (you may already know this if not every webmaster should know it!) …
With Googles referral system you are led to think that you can be selective but – and this is realllllly important because I know you currently hand filter your adSense ads to keep junk of tuDiabetes – once you select and clink on a company using the referral program the system defaults and toggles a button that allows Google to replace the exact ad you just chose in good advertising faith with others of their choice. This is very misleading. Be sure to UNCLICK that option so that only the ad program you chose will show on your site. Otherwise, after about 15 minutes - 24 hours, the referral ads you hand-selected will suddenly start to change to "Lose 15 lbs in 5 minute) type ads.
TuDiabetes merchandise is a good idea - I think T-shirts and stuff would be fine. I’d be leery on sponsorships - big drug companies scare me. Products and services could be okay - the Medic-Alert bracelet people, Diabetes Mags, Amazon Books for diabetics, I think anything diabetic related is generally good - but does advertising on the site imply an “endorsement”? TRICKY stuff! I’d stick with the merchandising first - small steps.
I’ve bought two diabetes products online; a frio pack, and a hat from cafepress that says powered by insulin.
If you sold diabetes bracelets or other clothing, especially if they were funny.
I have a differing opinion about drug companies. They offer generous sponsorships (for obvious reasons) but the consumer can stand to benefit as well. For example, almost exclusively, only one type of insulin is prescribed for pumps thanks to early footholds in the market but now three insulins are available that work well in pumps – the newest brand is cheapest but I cannot name a single pumper who is using it (it also is fine for shots, BTW).
How can a patient stay current if doctors don’t update patients about changes in choices but stay with the old standards? You probably have a lot of patients with Type 2 and LADA on this list . How many know about BYETTA or Symlin? Simply seeing a drug ad does not enable a patient go and get it. They would still have to ask their doctor for more information and a prescription but it does give us, the patients, ideas about our own care we might not otherwise think about.
I think there are so many wonderful ideas on here to consider, but please remember: Most of us are on limited budgets due to medical expenses. I know I myself couldn’t spend the money on a paid membership and my supplies must come from a company approved by my insurance and my pump supplies are only covered after I have paid the yearly out-of-pocket expense of $1000.00.
I know that you will come up with a great solution to the problem. Have you thought of approaching businesses such as Splenda or Equal? They might be better equipped to be sponsors of this wonderful sight. The drug companies are a good idea also, but I would limit it to reliable trusted drug companies that have been there for a long time such as Eli Lilly or Novo Nordisk.
just some things to consider…
Information is currently readily available. Any reasonably intelligent diabetic knows how to get information on drugs. And several of the newer diabetic drugs have been known to cause severe side effects. Just because it comes in a bottle and says its FDA approved doesn’t mean I think its absolutely safe to put in my body. I don’t want to see this site become plastered with ads from “well-meaning” profit sucking drug companies whose sole benefit is to make a dollar off our illness. We could have a link section on this site just for drug information! The wonderful thing about this site is it is grassroots and driven by and for diabetics. So i guess we will just have to agree to disagree Lahle.
I love the idea of Splenda or Equal as sponsors as they do not have direct vested interest in diabetic healthcare in the same way that drug companies do. Like many on this site I simply do not trust BIG drug companies. Their track record over the past few years has not been the best. How often do we see ads from different law firms asking if you have taken “drug xyz” and suffered “condition abc” please contact the law office of “ambulance chaser 123”. With diabetes reaching epidemic proportions in this country we need to be careful about who we reach out too to advertise on this site.
I spoke with some friends of mine that work at amazon. They said if you sign up for an associates program, and purchases are made through TuDiabetes on that companies site, that Tu gets a percentage of the sale. May be something worth looking into to help raise money for site expenses.
I just had to call patton medical to check into some stuff about the i-port that I am going to start using. I asked them if they ever do sponsorships and told them about this group. The lady is going to check into it and see if they do and if they don’t will see about what they can do about possibly doing a sponsorship for this group.