Date published: 
9 November 2018
Media type: 
Media release
General public

More than 600,000 Australians with diabetes will benefit from cheaper access to products that help them manage their diabetes following the Morrison Government’s improvements to the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS).

From December 1, patients will save up to $126 per year on the cost of already subsidised items listed on the NDSS such as blood glucose test strips, urine test strips and insulin delivery devices.

Our Government is able to do this because it has worked closely with the suppliers of these products and clinical experts to ensure that consumers can continue to access the best products at the best possible price for consumers and the taxpayer.

These products are used by people with diabetes to self-manage their condition. Blood glucose test strips are used with a blood glucose meter to test glucose levels throughout the day.

These small disposable strips play a very important role in helping people with diabetes to monitor and control their diabetes. Insulin devices such as syringes and infusion sets are then used to support the delivery of insulin when needed.

The management of diabetes requires constant self-care and monitoring and if complications develop, diabetes can have a significant impact on quality of life and can reduce life expectancy.

As a result of the improvements the cost of 100 blood glucose test strips will reduce by $2 for general patients, and the cost of 10 Insulin Pump Infusion Sets will reduce by $4.70.

A patient with type 1 diabetes who uses an insulin pump and is a moderate to high user of blood glucose test strips per day will save $10.50 per month or $126.50 per year under the changes to concessional payments.

A person with type 1 diabetes who uses 10 blood glucose test strips per day will save up to $73 per year under changes to the general classification.

These changes will reduce the costs for many families around Australians who are managing their diabetes and for some consumers the brand of product they use may change. The Government is working with Diabetes Australia and key stakeholders to inform NDSS registrants of how to continue to access the products they need at a lower price.

The NDSS supports people to manage their diabetes through access to important information, vital services and subsidised products. Diabetes Australia works with the Government to deliver information and support services to people living with diabetes registered with the NDSS.

Our Government will spend more than $1 billion over four years, from 2018–19 through the NDSS, to support more than 1.4 million Australians with diabetes to self-manage their condition.

For more information visit the NDSS website, the the Department of Health website or contact the NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588.