Science Market Update

Biomedical Equipment & Supplies Get New Life as 3rd World Surplus

Posted by BCI Staff on Mon, Aug 15, 2011

At this time of year especially, our hearts seem to go out all the more to those in need, which is why we like this blog, which we've updated with a recent video which should bring a smile to your face. Please consider donating your excess inventory in 2012! --updated(12/23/2011)

Sometimes it's breakthrough technology that changes the world; sometimes it's yesterday's medical supplies and equipment sent to a struggling hospital in a much poorer country than the US rather than being sent to a landfill.  Much of this second-hand equipment and unopened supply stock comes from US hospitals and their laboratories.  An even larger percentage comes directly from biomedical supply companies that have usable but unsellable inventory.  Then there are the non-profit organizations that coordinate and carry out the transfer of goods, making sure that:

  1. Goods are still serviceable
  2. Recipients get what they actually need
  3. Doctors know how to operate what they get

It costs about $25,000 to ship a 40ft container full of biomedical equipment and supplies.  The value of each cargo shipment is usually about 20 times that amount.

(A recent video, courtesy of Doc2Dock)

The work of these medical supply surplus organizations was recently highlighted in a New York Times article, "Salvaging Medical Cast-Offs to Save Lives," and the follow-up, "Making Medical Donations Work," both by Pulitzer Prize winner Tina Rosenberg.  We'd like to profile the three non-profits mentioned in the Times here, with the hope that you will visit their websites and consider whether donating surplus biomedical and laboratory equipment makes sense with your company or institution's business plan and values.

doc2dockDoc2Dock (

  • Headquarters: Brooklyn, New York
  • Relatively new to the medical supply surplus world (2005) 
  • Founded and led by Dr. Bruce Charash, former director of the cardiac care unit at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan; currently a professor at NYU Medical School
  • Primary surplus organization collecting from the New York City hospital market (which is the largest in the country)
  • Board of Directors includes doctors from Columbia University School of Medicine and NY-Presbyterian Hospital


medshareMedShare (

  • Headquarters: Atlanta, GA, with Western States distribution center in San Leandro, CA and a third distribution center in New York
  • Established in 1998
  • Has now shipped almost 700 (40ft) containers of supplies around the world
  • Has an online database so recipients can order exactly what they need
  • Has a biomedical engineer on staff who not only inspects and maintains equipment before it ships but travels to recipient hospitals several times a year to train people to use and maintain it



project cureProject C.U.R.E. (

  • Headquarters: Denver, CO
  • C.U.R.E. stands for Commission on Urgent Relief & Equipment
  • Oldest such organization, founded in 1987
  • Most goods sent in 40ft containers, but some sent by air
  • Provides C.U.R.E. KITS of medical supplies that are designed for travelers to carry as luggage to hospitals and clinics
  • Sponsors C.U.R.E. CLINICS through which medical personnel travel to partner hospitals and assist doctors and nurses in the field
  • Creates C.U.R.E. Kits for Kids, which are shoebox-sized containers of home healthcare supplies that are distributed through PROJECT C.U.R.E. recipient sites to parents of children ages zero to 15
  • Has collection and/or distribution centers in Colorado, Houston (TX), Nashville (TN), New York (working with Doc2Docks), Tempe (AZ), Tampa (FL), Lexington (KY), and Mechanicsburg (PA)


Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. is a 19-year veteran producer of premium life science trade show expositions, seminars, and marketing opportunities at research institutions across the United States.  We bring researchers together with vendors of laboratory equipment, supplies, and analytical equipment to network and share information.

In the New York area, we hold several well-attended biomedical tradeshow events each year in October, including:

To view our nationwide event calendar, please visit our website.

Tags: Rockefeller University, Northeast, Biomedical Equipment, Cornell University, New York, Columbia University, Stony Brook University, Weill Cornell, BioResearch Product Faire Front Line Event, MSSM, BioResearch Product Faire Event, NY, Laboratory Equipment Supplier, Rockefeller, SunySB, 2011, Mount Sinai Medical School,

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