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$100 million to support Durack type 1 diabetes patients

The Federal Government will expand free access to glucose monitoring devices for pregnant women, children and more adults with type 1 diabetes, saving people in the Durack electorate up to $7,000 a year.

Federal Member for Durack and Minister for the Environment Melissa Price welcomed the $100 million announcement and said the investment guarantees certainty.

“This additional funding over the next four years will ensure that free glucose monitoring devices will be available to over 37,000 eligible people with type 1 diabetes across Australia,” Minister Price said.

From March 1, 2019 eligibility for fully subsidised continuous glucose monitoring devices will be expanded under the National Diabetes Services Scheme to include:

  • Women with type 1 diabetes who are pregnant, breastfeeding or actively planning pregnancy.
  • People with type 1 diabetes aged 21 years or older who have concessional status, and who have a high clinical need such as experiencing recurrent severe hypoglycaemic events.
  • Children and young people with conditions similar to type 1 diabetes who require insulin. This includes a range of conditions such as cystic fibrosis-related diabetes or neonatal diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that attacks a person’s ability to produce insulin. People with this condition must be able to monitor their glucose levels day and night.

Continuous glucose monitoring devices continually monitor a person’s glucose levels and provide alerts if glucose levels drop too low.

It involves a sensor, usually attached to the stomach that monitors the glucose levels and has an alarm that can alert people or their carer if the levels drop too low.

Our Government also plans to add the new FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system to the scheme for these people with type 1 diabetes. This will provide patients with more choice in how they manage their diabetes through this important program.

The FreeStyle Libre device involves a sensor on the arm that monitors glucose levels and sends readings to a user’s mobile phone or diabetes management device. When a patient passes their phone or device past the sensor it provides a reading of their glucose levels.

The Federal Government will work with Diabetes Australia and key diabetes experts to implement the expanded scheme and finalise the clinical criteria.

In line with a commitment made during the 2016 federal election, the Federal Government has already made glucose monitoring products available to eligible children and young people aged under 21 years with type 1 diabetes - nearly 9,500 young Australians - through the National Diabetes Services Scheme have already taken up the free devices.

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