National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS)

Information relating to the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS)

Page last updated: 08 November 2016

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

Changes to the NDSS from 1 July 2016

From 1 July 2016, there will be changes to the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS).

These changes have been made to ensure people living with diabetes continue to access the products they need, as well as ensuring the ongoing sustainability of the scheme. The current arrangements for accessing products from the NDSS will remain in place until 30 June 2016.

There are no changes to the cost or types of products available under the NDSS, but the way you access these products may change. You will still be able to 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 Diabetes Australia NDSS Infoline on 1300 136 588.

NDSS education services provided by Diabetes Australia and its state and territory agents will continue.

What are the changes from 1 July 2016?

  • People with diabetes will continue to 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.
  • The range of products available has not change, nor has the copayment you are required to pay.
  • NDSS products are no longer available in the current way 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).
  • 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.
  • NDSS products are supplied to NDSS community pharmacies using the same distribution network that pharmacies use to receive medicines. Aligning these delivery channels will streamline the way products are delivered to pharmacies.
  • Support and advice from Diabetes Australia and local state and territory diabetes organisations about NDSS products continues to be provided to all NDSS registrants over the phone and through ongoing education programs. This will include training for NDSS community pharmacies on supplying insulin pump consumables.

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.

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 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

The Department of Health (the Department) and Diabetes Australia recognise that as a national initiative it is essential to ensure that the Scheme provides appropriate access arrangements across Australia.

Access Points supply products to Registrants of the Scheme. There are currently over 5,000 Access Points across Australia, the majority of which are 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.