During our adventures in this business we have often seen things and claims that are confusing, yet most people don’t seem to be bothered by them. However, we like to get to the bottom of things, and made some research on the most common misconceptions and beliefs of the market, and found a rather funny reason for them: these usually originate from a scammer with little to no background knowledge, yet somehow other people in the industry have accepted these false informations as true and copied them into their daily operations as well. It is a real and shocking example of “Monkey see, monkey do!” .

Cardinal Flexal is manufactured by 3M

I don’t know the origins of this belief, yet somehow most people are not aware that Cardinal Health and the famous 3M are two entirely separate legal entities. 3M distributors are not automatically distributors of Cardinal Health, however there are companies that are distributing the products of both brands. There are also rumors of some cooperation between the two companies, although I never found any credible source that confirms this. So, let’s straighten this out: there is no such thing as 3M Cardinal nitrile gloves, just as there is no Mercedes A8, or Asus Macbook Pro.

Don’t be this guy…

White, black, gold or platinum CAGE codes

CAGE (Commercial And Governmental Entity) codes are identifiers given to suppliers and governmental agencies, and serve the purpose to identify the entity at a specific location. They are nothing more than that: there are no different categories or colors differentiating size, reliability or financial capabilities between assigned CAGE codes. It is also worth to mention, that you can encounter the phrase “loading the cage” often, when it comes to such buyers, as method of payment. You can’t pay with a CAGE code, that would be like paying with your VAT number.

Secret governmental programs for selling PPE

I believe you might have encountered these strange tales as well: “seller is the government”, “there is a secret program for selling PPE run by the government” or my personal favorite, “due diligence is done by the FBI”. Such claims are obvious lies: the US (or any other government) literally begs and pleads his suppliers to get them more PPE, and would never sell them, because they don’t have any surplus quantities themselves. I know that several governments are corrupt, but to claim that they are essentially tricking people into believing there is a shortage while having reserves into the billions-trillions and selling them to private entities sounds like a conspiracy theory not better than Chemtrail or QAnon. There is simply no evidence for this, and even if they were true, such schemes get public very fast, because they involve too many people.


While MT199 and MT799 are often used in everyday business activities, several people clearly have no clue what they are and how they are used. First of all: both of them are type of messages in the SWIFT system, and they are used to verify funds or to show readiness to engage in a transaction. Yet several people run around with an SOP that says, “MT199/MT799 to attorney”, or even state that these are the payment terms. Again, these are messages between two banks; they cannot be sent to a law office, and you cannot transfer money with them. They can be a viable alternative for POF and BCL, because it gives an extra layer of security (since they are sent only between the banks of the seller and the buyer), but nothing more. You can’t pay with them, and they only go between two entities of the SWIFT system.

Vaccine distributors and brokers

Everyday more and more vaccine offers pop up on social media. Brokers think that buying and selling vaccines works just the same way as PPE or other commodities, however they are nothing alike. The pharmaceutical supply chain usually doesn’t contain “official distributors” or “master distributors”, because in order to work with drugs your company needs to obtain special authorization. It doesn’t matter how big or rich a company is, without these licenses they cannot buy even a single vial of the vaccine. So, to anyone reading this: do not even think of buying vaccines if you don’t have the required authorization, or to buy from companies without the same. You will be fined and you are endangering future recipients of the vaccine.
The same goes to brokers: do not offer vaccines, if you don’t have a pharmaceutical broker license. Yes, this is a thing, and yes, it needs to be issued by your local authorities. This isn’t just introducing seller to buyer: you need to verify the two parties, their facilities, the integrity of the cool chain etc. And if you fail to do so, you will be held responsible by the authorities just as much, as other parties involved.

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