Are you getting texts about your test strips?

Callers to Diabetes Queensland have been asking about phone texts they’re receiving concerning their subsidized access to Blood Glucose Test Strips (BGTS) expiring soon.

The changes to the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) introduced in July 2016 included changes to BGTS subsidized access for people with type 2 diabetes not on insulin.

The text messages, which started in September last year, are sent to NDSS registrants with a valid mobile number, about one month before their approval for subsidized test strips expires.

The purpose of the texts is to encourage registrants to talk with their health professionals to assess their on-going need for strips.

Every six months, the affected registrants will only be eligible for further access to subsidized strips if their doctor, or other authorized health professional, considers it clinically necessary to continue testing.

This change was introduced by the Department of Health after independent advice by the expert Pharmaceutical Advisory Committee, which recommended restrictions to the strips.

This advice was based on a body of research that found little evidence that self-monitoring of blood glucose among people with type 2 improves blood glucose control, quality of life, or decreases long-term complications.

Your local NDSS pharmacy is there to help, and having your approval form ready to give staff when you go to buy your strips will help you and them. The form will need to be completed every six months for continued access to strips.

If you have not bought strips for some time, you may not have received a text as the restrictions came into effect six months after the date of a registrant’s first test strip purchase from 1 July 2016.

The text messages only started in September and your expiry date may have already passed.

When you visit your NDSS pharmacy staff may ask you to update your contact details to include your mobile phone number and email address. Those details will help us to help you by keeping you informed and assisting with your diabetes management.

To update your details online or to request a replacement NDSS card, go to https://www.ndss.com.au/address-update-or-request-card

By Deb Carter, Diabetes Qld team leader

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