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Latest changes to NDSS may affect you

There have been two major announcements in the past month about changes to the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) which may affect you:

 

  1.  The Morrison Government has increased funding by $100 million over four years to expand free access to glucose-monitoring technology through the NDSS to help more adults and children with type 1 diabetes. The changes will start from 1 March 2019.
  2. From 1 December 2018, a limited number of people using certain brands of blood glucose test strips and types of insulin syringes will be affected due to the products'  removal from the schedule.

 

For expanded access to glucose monitoring technology, here is a summary of the announcement:

 

  • Access to glucose monitoring technology including continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system will be expanded to some adults over 21 years of age.
  • People eligible to access the technology now include:
  1. People with type 1 diabetes aged 21 years or over who have concessional status and a high clinical need.
  2. Women with type 1 diabetes actively planning pregnancy, are pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  3. Children and young people with conditions similar to type 1 diabetes who require insulin, such as cystic-fibrosis-related diabetes or neonatal diabetes.
  • This initiative will save eligible people up to $7,000 per year.
  • The Government is working with Diabetes Australia and key diabetes experts to finalise the clinical eligibility criteria and implement the expanded scheme.

 

 For changes to blood glucose test strips and insulin syringes, here is a summary of the changes:

 

  • People registered on the NDSS will still be able to access appropriate subsidised blood glucose test strips and insulin syringes. Most people with diabetes registered with the NDSS will not be affected by the product changes.
  • A full list of both delisted and available products can be found here.  
  • If you need a new brand of blood glucose test strips, you will be eligible to receive a free blood glucose meter.
  • People using delisted products have until 28 February 2019 to transition to a new product. However, supply of discontinued products will be subject to availability after 1 Dec 2018.
  • There are no changes to urine ketone test strips and other products subsidised under the NDSS, including insulin pump consumables and continuous glucose monitoring products. 

 

In addition to product changes, the cost of blood glucose and urine test strips as well as insulin pump infusion sets and reservoirs will become more affordable for some NDSS registrants. Read more about the reduced NDSS co-payments.

 

Click here to find out more.

 

Some of the most common questions we're receiving at Diabetes Queensland are:

 

Q. Why are these changes happening?

A. To ensure the ongoing sustainability of the NDSS, the Department of Health has undertaken a review of products subsidised under the NDSS. This included blood glucose test strips, insulin syringes and urine ketone test strips.

 

The Department considered a number of submissions from product vendors.

 

Based on the analysis undertaken by the Department and relevant experts, a new range of products has been determined and will come into effect for the NDSS Product Schedule from 1 December 2018.

 

These changes include the removal of some product brands and the addition of new product brands.

 

Q.  What happens if the strips for my meter are no longer subsidized and I need to get a new meter?

A.  Speak to your health professional about what is the best meter for you. Click here to find out how to order your new meter.

 

Q. What meter should I swap to?

A. Different products will suit different individuals. Google the different brands to see a list of features ( brand names are listed on the NDSS site, pages 3 and 4). Discuss your choice with your health professional at your next visit or ring the NDSS helpline on 1300 136 588.   

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