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
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 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
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
Beneﬁts 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
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
To visit the NDSS website, click
To access a list of frequently asked questions, click
For information about access to NDSS products in rural and
remote areas, click here.
Type 2 diabetes - NDSS and Federal Government
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
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
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
More information can be found here:
A Healthier Medicare for chronically-ill patients