Every advance in drugs, therapy or technology changes lives
among Queenslanders living with diabetes.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is the latest step in a
tradition that has been saving lives and offering new hope to the
diabetes community since the discovery of insulin 96 years ago.
At Diabetes Queensland, we work to help maximize the benefit of
these new opportunities. Our vision is that all Queenslanders will
share our determination to fight diabetes, support and care for
people living with diabetes and work hard for a cure to
Finger-prick BGL monitoring was the best and only option for
good type 1 diabetes management for decades. Now the gold standard
Monitoring glucose in interstitial (between the cells) fluid
just beneath the skin, CGMs provide an (almost) real time readout
of current glucose levels and forecast trends. Linked to a pump or
used to help guide insulin pen dosages, CGM helps deliver lower
HbA1cs and reduces the risk of hypos.
Unfortunately, while Australia's National Diabetes Services
Scheme (NDSS) provides extensive support to people living with
diabetes, not all who stand to benefit from CGM are granted the
affordable access to this technology that comes with Government
Working through Diabetes Australia, Diabetes Queensland is
campaigning for access to be extended beyond those (aged 21 and
under) whose CGMs are currently subsidized.
Another new technology, flash monitoring, taps into interstitial
fluid to provide users updated glucose level data that can be read
via a scanner.
Compared to CGMs, the flash system (marketed under the Freestyle
Libre brand-name) does not link to other devices like phones or
pumps, but is less expensive. The flash system also does not
provide alarms if glucose levels go below or above healthy
Both of these technologies can improve the health and quality of
life of people with diabetes while delaying diabetes complications
like blindness, kidney disease and neuropathy.
They can greatly reduce the cost of subsequent treatment,
creating health system savings and improving the productivity of
Diabetes Queensland believes universal subsidized access to
these technologies should apply to all Australians with type 1
diabetes and to those with type 2 whose clinical circumstances
stand to benefit. Allowing users to choose between these systems
would maximize the health benefits to individuals and to our health
system as a whole.
Recently, the Commonwealth began to evaluate options for a
subsidy on flash monitoring. Diabetes Queensland welcomes this
news. We urge the Government to further extend access to these and
other valuable new technologies.