Australia's leading diabetes groups have welcomed a major
funding boost that will help up to 37,000 Australians with type 1
diabetes access life-changing diabetes technology.
Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP announced funding of
$100 million over four years from March 1, 2019, to help
Australians living with type 1 diabetes access glucose monitoring
The funding will save eligible people with diabetes up to $7,000
The additional funding will provide subsidised access to
continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) or the FreeStyle Libre flash
glucose monitoring system for:
- People with type 1 diabetes aged 21 years or over who have a
concession card and who have high clinical needs such as
experiencing recurrent, severe hypoglycemia
- Women with type 1 diabetes who are actively planning pregnancy,
are pregnant or are breastfeeding
- Children with rare conditions similar to type 1 diabetes like
cystic fibrosis-related diabetes or neonatal diabetes.
Continuous glucose monitors are small wearable devices that can
sound alarms and send warnings if glucose levels are getting too
low or too high. The devices reduce the number of daily finger
The FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system involves a
sensor worn on the arm that monitors glucose levels and sends
readings to a user's mobile phone. When a patient passes their
phone past the sensor it provides a reading of their glucose
Diabetes Australia Professor Greg Johnson said Diabetes
Australia and other leading diabetes groups have been calling for
the expansion of access to glucose monitoring technologies for many
years and welcomed the announcement of additional funding.
"Continuous glucose monitoring can help prevent or reduce the
incredibly serious impact of hypoglycaemia (dangerously low BGLs
and potential for loss of consciousness and coma) and also fear and
anxiety associated with it," Professor Johnson said.
"Diabetes Australia, along with our partners in the diabetes
community, have been advocating for broader access to glucose
monitoring technologies for a number of years.
"Today's announcement builds on the Federal Government's
existing CGM funding initiative that is already helping thousands
of children and young people with type 1 diabetes access the
"We are confident that this initiative will improve the lives
and give peace of mind to thousands of Australian with type 1
Australian Diabetes Society CEO A/Professor Sof Andrikopoulos
said there was clear evidence that glucose monitoring technology
like CGM or flash monitoring improved quality of life.
"CGM or flash monitoring arms the person with diabetes with all
the information to manage the condition and keep glucose levels
within their target range," A/Professor Andrikopoulos said.
"This improves their health in the short-term as well as
reducing the long-term likelihood of debilitating and costly
complications like limb amputation, kidney disease or heart
JDRF Australia CEO Mike Wilson said the funding was a smart
investment in the health of people with diabetes.
"Research shows it can cost almost $15,000 to treat a severe
hypoglycaemic event (low glucose levels) that requires
hospitalisation," Mr Wilson said.
"Access to continuous glucose monitoring or flash monitoring
technology helps ensure people with diabetes can stay heathy and
avoid severe health events."
Australian Diabetes Educators Association CEO Dr Joanne Ramadge
welcomed the funding for women prior to or during pregnancy.
"Glucose levels can be far more variable during pregnancy which
can place women at serious risk of hypo- and hyperglycaemia.
Elevated glucose levels can also pose a risk to the developing
baby," Dr Ramadge said.
"Access to CGM or flash will help keep mums and their unborn
Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group President Esko Wiltshire
said glucose monitoring was one of the most difficult and intrusive
parts of living with diabetes and anything that eased the burden on
the person with diabetes was very welcome.
"As well as the health benefits, access to glucose monitoring
technology will help ease the anxiety and stress that is sometimes
associated with living with the condition," Associate Professor
Esko Wiltshire said.