NDSS changes - July 1 2016

Distribution of NDSS products

The Federal Government has announced that it will implement changes to the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) from July 1, 2016. Since 1987, the work of Diabetes Queensland has included an integral role in the delivery of NDSS diabetes-related products and many of the scheme's key support services.


Under these Federal Government changes, from July 1 2016 diabetes-related products will no longer be distributed through Diabetes Queensland or via other agents of Diabetes Australia interstate.


Diabetes Queensland will continue to deliver NDSS support and education services and of course we will continue our role as the trusted advocates, advisers and confidants of Queenslanders living with all types of diabetes.


From July 1, subsidised NDSS products, such as needles, syringes, blood glucose test strips, urine test strips and insulin pump consumables will remain available, but through community pharmacies.


Pharmacies will have the option for Insulin Pump Consumables (IPCs) to become part of their base stock and be re-supplied, or for one-off orders through the NDSS. Pharmacies can place orders for products (including IPCs) through the existing NDSS Connect which are then supplied by the distributors within 24 hours. 


To assist IPC users with the change, there will be a short transition arrangement that will allow registrants the option to purchase IPCs from their state / territory diabetes organisation or from their local access point. 


For people with diabetes, there will be no changes to the range of NDSS products, or in the co-payment arrangements that apply.


In other changes, the Government has altered arrangements for the supply of subsidised test strips to people with type 2 diabetes who do not use insulin. Based on advice from the Pharmaceutical Beneļ¬ts Advisory Committee, these NDSS registrants will receive an initial six month supply, but will remain eligible only if their need for strips is specified by a doctor or other authorised health provider.


Access to blood glucose test strips for people using insulin will remain unchanged.


If you are living with diabetes, NDSS products and support services are an essential part of your life. Please familiarise yourself with these new arrangements and contact Diabetes Queensland if you have any concerns, doubts or questions.


To visit the NDSS website, click here. 


To access a list of frequently asked questions, click here.  


For information about access to NDSS products in rural and remote areas, click here.



Type 2 diabetes - NDSS and Federal Government changes

BGL strip access

The Federal Government has adopted a recommendation of its Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee that will change support arrangements for people with type 2 diabetes from July 1, 2016. The change means that people with type 2 who do not use insulin will be able to access NDSS-subsidised BGL test strips for six months from diagnosis.


The initial 6 month supply of subsidised test strips starts from the first time you buy products on or after 1 July 2016.  For example, if you buy NDSS products in May and then again in August, the 6 month supply limit will be from the date of your August supply as this was after July 1, 2016. 


Beyond six months, access to subsidised strips is determined by health care professionals. This arrangement requires 6 monthly review (ie: BGL strip access in these cases can be extended by a medical practitioner for six months at a time.)

GPs and other practitioners will be familiar with these requirements and will remain very conscious of the need to ensure each of their patients has access to the best and most effective regime of treatment, given their personal circumstances.

Six-monthly check-ups are routine in type 2 diabetes cases where insulin is not prescribed. This change introduces a new element to the management of non-insulin type 2 diabetes cases and the relationship between people with type 2 diabetes and their practitioners.


A feature of type 2 diabetes is its progressive onset and the range of consequences that can emerge over time. Living and eating well are important parts of diabetes care, as is the need to visit regularly with your health practitioners and to adjust your treatment as time goes by.


Health care homes

The Commonwealth will also trial a proposal for 'Health Care Homes' including changes to primary health care support for chronic conditions from July 1 next year. This new framework came from a report into Primary Health Care completed in December.


Diabetes Queensland is following these developments. We maintain close contact with our members, NDSS registrants and treating clinicians across the State.


Through Diabetes Australia, we will continue to provide feedback and make submissions to the Federal Government about these and related issues.  


More information can be found here: A Healthier Medicare for chronically-ill patients