National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS)

Information relating to the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS)

Page last updated: 21 June 2017

Changes to the NDSS from 1 July 2016 | Overview | Access Points | Registrants | Products

Continuous Glucose Monitoring

From 1 April 2017, the Australian Government will provide fully subsidised continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) products to eligible children and young people aged under 21 years with type 1 diabetes.

Children and young people who experience significant challenges in managing their blood glucose levels, particularly those who have difficulty identifying symptoms of hypoglycaemia, will gain the greatest clinical benefit from subsidised CGM technology.

Further information can be found at www.health.gov.au/ndss-cgm

Media release on the announcement by the Minister for Health Minister, Greg Hunt.

FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System

The Department is conducting an evaluation of the FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring (FGM) product to consider its suitability for subsidisation under the NDSS.

The evaluation will follow a methodology similar to that used by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

The Assessment panel will take into account the clinical effectiveness, safety and cost effectiveness (value for money) of the FreeStyle Libre product compared to an appropriate comparator.

Members of the public are able to make submissions about this device using the form available on the Department’s online consultation hub.

Changes to the NDSS from 1 July 2016

On 1 July 2016, changes were made to the NDSS to ensure people living with diabetes can continue to access the products they need, as well as ensuring the ongoing sustainability of the scheme.

There are no changes to the cost or types of products available under the NDSS, but the way you access these products may have changed. You can still access NDSS products through your local participating NDSS community pharmacy. At present there are over 5,000 community pharmacies which are NDSS Access Points across Australia. You can find your nearest NDSS pharmacy by calling the NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588, or by using the online locator tool at http://osd.ndss.com.au/search/.

Diabetes Australia, and its state and territory agents, continue to provide education, support and advice to NDSS registrants over the phone and through ongoing education services. This includes training for NDSS community pharmacies on ordering and supplying NDSS products, including insulin pump consumables.

What are the changes from 1 July 2016?

  • People with diabetes can still access NDSS products such as needles, syringes, blood glucose test strips and urine test strips from NDSS community pharmacies. In addition, since 1 July 2016 insulin pump consumables are available from NDSS community pharmacies. Where a pharmacy does not stock the insulin pump consumables required, they can be ordered by the pharmacy and delivered to the pharmacy generally within 24 hours.
  • The range of products available has not changed.
  • NDSS products are no longer available from Diabetes Australia or local state and territory diabetes organisations (this includes via state and territory diabetes organisation shops and websites, and the NDSS 1300 number).
  • NDSS products are supplied to NDSS community pharmacies using the same distribution network that pharmacies use to receive medicines. Aligning these delivery channels streamlines the way products are delivered to pharmacies.

Changes to Access to Blood Glucose Test Strips

Frequently Asked Questions (regarding changes to the NDSS)

Overview of the NDSS

The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) is an initiative of the Australian Government which has been administered with assistance from Diabetes Australia since 1987.

Grant Guidelines

Through the NDSS, the Australian Government and Diabetes Australia work together to enhance the capacity of over one million Australians with type 1, type 2, gestational and other diabetes to understand and manage their life with diabetes. The NDSS aims to ensure people have timely, reliable and affordable access to the supplies and services they require to effectively self-manage their diabetes.

Table 1 - The number of people registered on the NDSS for each financial year, and Australian Government expenditure.
Financial YearPersonsAustralian Government expenditure
2002-2003
496,642
$81,389,001
2003-2004
553,692
$86,267,883
2004-2005
611,603
$94,149,126
2005-2006
669,741
$104,528,713
2006-2007
732,017
$113,755,487
2007-2008
798,538
$126,172,296
2008-2009
877,572
$135,815,193
2009-2010
957,338
$156,809,364
2010-2011
1,032,717
$163,398,842
2011-2012
1,037,621
$181,678,814
2012-2013
1,086,860
$197,154,279
2013-2014
1,133,412
$200,242,241
2014-2015
1,270,203
$201,300,000
2015-2016
1,320,328
$214,085,000
Further, The NDSS established a National Gestational Diabetes Register in 2011 to help women who have had gestational diabetes to manage their health into the future.

Table 2 - The number of people registered on the National Gestational Diabetes Register for each financial year

Financial YearPersonsAustralian Government expenditure
2011-2012
17,793
$210,669
2012-2013
38,567
$465,118
2013-2014
59,706
$732,592

Access Points

Access Points supply NDSS products to Registrants of the Scheme. There are currently over 5,000 Access Points across Australia, the majority of which are community pharmacies. A full list of NDSS Agents can be found on the NDSS website.

Registrants

To register with the NDSS, applicants must be diagnosed with diabetes and hold or be eligible to hold a Medicare card and live in Australia. Sometimes visitors to Australia may be eligible through a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with their home country.

The PBS also funds a number of medicines for persons with diabetes. Australian Government expenditure on these supplies through the PBS in 2015-16 was over $538 million.

Products

The NDSS continues to subsidise the cost of syringes and needles, blood glucose test strips, urine ketone test strips and insulin pump consumables. A detailed list of products available through the NDSS can be found on the NDSS website.

Annually, over 5 million products are provided to NDSS Registrants.

On average over 60% of Registrants access products to assist in the self-management of their diabetes each year.