National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS)

Information relating to the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS)

Page last updated: 21 August 2018

User research for NDSS Online Services Portal | RFP Process to List Selected Diabetes Products on the NDSS | CGM | FreeStyle Libre evaluation | Changes to the NDSS from 1 July 2016 | Overview | Access Points | Registrants | Products

User research for NDSS Online Services Portal - March 2018

The NDSS supports people to manage their diabetes through access to information, services and government subsidised products. The Department funds Diabetes Australia to deliver information and support services to people living with diabetes registered with the NDSS.

Each year, Diabetes Australia undertakes registrant research to measure satisfaction levels of NDSS services. This research will commence in March 2018. It will include some questions about Registrants views on the creation of a centralised NDSS online services portal. The NDSS online services portal would:
  • simplify NDSS registration for those newly diagnosed with diabetes;
  • allow users to update contact details;
  • provide online access to webinars and training courses; and
  • offer information and notifications on changes to the NDSS.
This research will help build the Department's understanding of Registrants needs.

If you have any questions about the NDSS online services portal or want to be involved in further user research, please email the NDSS team.

Request for Proposal Process to List Selected Diabetes Products on the NDSS Product Schedule

The Australian Government foreshadowed changes to the NDSS in the 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, which announced that the Australian Government will achieve further efficiencies through the sourcing and purchasing of selected products on the NDSS. These efficiencies are necessary to ensure the long-term integrity and sustainability of the NDSS, while ensuring a range of clinically effective products are available for NDSS registrants to effectively self-manage their diabetes.

The Department is implementing this Government decision by conducting a Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

The product categories that are the subject of this RFP process are:
  • blood glucose test strips (BGTS);
  • syringes; and
  • urinary ketone test strips.
The RFP process commenced on 26 September 2017. Evaluation of proposals is continuing, with a final outcome expected in the third quarter of 2018.

Upon finalisation of the RFP process, a revised list of BGTS, syringe and urinary ketone test strip products will be available through the NDSS from 1 December 2018.

Through this process, the Department is seeking a broad national approach to the supply of NDSS products and to achieve value for money through bulk product sourcing and purchasing.

The Department understands the importance of minimising the effect of this RFP process on NDSS registrants. The Department will be working closely with key stakeholder groups throughout and after this RFP process to make sure that any changes to product access are communicated with NDSS registrants and healthcare professionals, and that appropriate support is provided to everyone potentially affected by these changes.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the NDSS Request for Proposal Process

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

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

FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System

The Department of Health has undertaken an evaluation of the FreeStyle Libre product to consider its suitability for subsidisation through the NDSS.

This evaluation considered the clinical-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the product, and also included a public consultation process, which resulted in considerable feedback from people with diabetes, their families and other stakeholders.

Following completion of this process, the Department provided feedback to the sponsor on the results of the evaluation. The sponsor has subsequently provided a revised submission which is being assessed by the Department through a similar process along with the feedback from the original public consultation.

Further information about the evaluation will be published on this website as it becomes available.

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

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
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

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.


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.


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.