JDRF is delighted with today’s announcement by the Minister for Health and Minister for Sport, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, that the Australian Government will provide access to fully-subsidised continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology from 1 April 2017.
The scheme welcomes eligible children and young people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) under 21 years of age to apply for the subsidy, and will be administered through the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS). This program is expected to positively impact 4,000 Australian families living with the burden of T1D.
There will be two categories for eligibility: children aged 10 and younger, and those under 21 who face extra challenges in managing their T1D.
This announcement is a result of the Coalition Government’s re-election promise in May 2016, to provide $54 million in funding for the life-changing technology. Despite the benefits, the annual cost of around $4,000 for CGM technology is beyond the reach of many Australians.
JDRF Australia and other partners from the Australian diabetes community — Diabetes Australia, the Australian Diabetes Society, the Australian Paediatric Endocrine Society, the Australian Diabetes Educators Association and the DANII Foundation have all advocated together for Government funding of CGM.
Mike Wilson, CEO of JDRF Australia said “This investment in type 1 diabetes technology will transform the daily lives of Australian children with the disease. CGM can play a critical role in helping avoid dangerous high or low blood glucose levels and help keep people safe and healthy for longer while we make research progress towards finding a cure.”
“Thanks to the alliance of type 1 diabetes organisations working together we were able to secure bipartisan support for this milestone initiative. We’re also grateful for the support of our many passionate JDRF advocates, who kept this front of mind with MPs all across the country. This outcome is further validation that JDRF’s focus on patient impact in everything we do, but especially advocacy and research, plays a critical role in increasing access to T1D therapies for our community.
Mr. Wilson said he hopes this platform will deliver clinical outcomes that will open the gates for wider access in future.
To apply for the subsidy, families need to visit an authorised health professional who will assess eligibility and then complete an assessment form. Families will receive an email to advise of the outcome and next steps, with eligible families new to CGM technology expected to receive a starter pack within two weeks of email confirmation.
Existing eligible CGM users will be advised when they can begin to access subsidised consumables through NDSS pharmacies.
Further information including eligibility criteria is available at www.ndss.com.au/CGM or phone the NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588.