Access to CGM and Flash expanded

The Federal Government has announced changes to the Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Initiative, opening access to this life changing technology to thousands more Australians living with type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson welcomed Freestyle Libre’s inclusion on the CGM Initiative and the streamlining of eligibility criteria as important steps to help ensure people who need this life changing technology can access it.

From 1 March 2020, people with type 1 diabetes aged over 21 with a valid concession card, will have free access to glucose monitoring devices.

“In the past three years we have seen the number of people with type 1 diabetes able to access life-changing glucose monitoring technology grow considerably,” Professor Johnson said.

“[This] announcement means that around 50 per cent of all people with type 1 diabetes in Australia will now have free access to this technology.”

Continuous and Flash glucose monitors are small wearable devices that monitor glucose levels automatically, providing readings every few minutes. People with diabetes can see their glucose levels using apps on their smart phones.

Both continuous and Flash glucose monitoring devices reduce the need for finger prick checks and give a lot more information to the person with type 1 diabetes and their healthcare team about glucose trends and “time on range” for glucose levels.

“Previously, people had to meet a high risk or high need criteria which was difficult for some people. The new process is much more straightforward and has removed this administrative burden for eligible people with type 1 diabetes. If you have a valid concession card you can get access,” Professor Johnson said.

Professor Johnson said Diabetes Australia, its state organisations and alliance partners – the ADS, the ADEA, APEG and JDRF Australia – would continue to work with Government to increase affordable access to diabetes technologies that can change and save lives.

“We welcome [the] announcement as another critical step in the journey to ensure more people with diabetes can access life changing diabetes monitoring and management technology,” Professor Johnson.

“But we’re not done yet! We will continue working with Government towards our goal that every person with diabetes, who needs access to these technologies can access them. It’s a continually changing world with new devices, upgrades, and connectivity all developing rapidly.”

A summary of groups eligible for the CGM Initiative under the new access from 1 March 2020 include:

  • Children and young people aged under 21 years with type 1 diabetes.
  • Women with type 1 diabetes who are planning for pregnancy, pregnant, or immediately post pregnancy.
  • Children and young people with conditions very similar to type 1 diabetes, such as cystic fibrosis-related diabetes and neonatal diabetes, who require insulin.
  • People with type 1 diabetes aged 21 years or older and who have concessional status.

For more details read the full media release from Diabetes Australia.

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