More people in Eden-Monaro living with Type 1 diabetes are now able to access life changing subsidised Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) products to better manage their blood glucose levels.
The Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler, announced the Australian Government will extend subsidised access to CGM products under the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS), effective since 1 July.
Australians over the age of 21 with Type 1 diabetes will be able to access CGM products through their pharmacy, with a co-payment equivalent to $32.50 per month or $390 per year. These life saving devices were previously costing them up to $5,000 per year.
“The Australian Government is investing an additional $273.1 million over four years to deliver our election commitments to better support people living with type 1 diabetes,” Minister Butler said.
“CGM technology is life-changing. Supporting more people with subsidised CGM products will improve the health and quality of life for tens of thousands of Australians living with type 1 diabetes.”
Co-owner of Dodd and Dwyer Capital Chemist in Merimbula, Linda Badewitz-Dodd, told East Coast Radio the announcement means people affected by diabetes can get on with their lives.
“It’s about bloody time,” Badewitz-Dodd said fervently.
“Having that extended from under 21-year-olds to the general population is amazing,” she said.
“People have elected to pay for it personally themselves over the age of 21 previously but that shouldn’t be the case because diabetes is a disease that you have, you can’t control whether you get it or you don’t get it, especially young people who are born with it.
“Making the technology available to everybody is ideal and it will save lives.”
People who are currently eligible for CGM products through the NDSS will continue to receive products free of charge. This includes children and young adults under 21 with type 1 diabetes, concession card holders with type 1 diabetes, and people with type 1 diabetes who are pregnant, post-pregnancy or trying to become pregnant.
Welcoming Minister Butler’s announcement, Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories and Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain said the extended access would mean new hope for people living with type 1 diabetes in Eden-Monaro.
“This is great news for the almost 1,000 Eden-Monaro residents who live with type 1 diabetes,” Minister McBain said.
“CGM products really are a game-changer for so many, they help reduce complications from living with diabetes, and the need to see a doctor or go to hospital.
“While finger prick blood testing gives people a glucose reading at a single point in time, CGM gives continuous glucose readings, including during sleep.
“This change means people with type 1 diabetes in our communities won’t have to make the awful choice between accessing this life changing technology or putting food on the table. I know it will mean the world to so many.”
People in Eden-Monaro will be among the 71,000 more Australians who will now have subsidised access to CGM under the Government’s initiative. It means that, for the first time, all Australians with type 1 diabetes – around 130,000 people – will have access to subsidised CGM products.
The Government is also delivering on its commitment to expand the eligibility criteria for the separate Insulin Pump Program.
This will provide an additional 35 fully subsidised insulin pumps a year to allow young adults aged 18 to 21 with type 1 diabetes from financially disadvantaged families to benefit from this life-changing technology.
“Until now, this program has been limited to children up to the age of 18,” Minister McBain said.
“Again, it is more great news to help people in our community to better manage their condition.”
Image Credit: Cystic Fibrosis Community Care – Victoria, National Association of Diabetes Centres