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What's the impact of Australia's recent CGM Subsidy?

by IBD Medical on November 08, 2022
Written by PDC Health Hub

As most of us know, life-saving diabetes technology and support products can quickly add up in costs, with little to no support from the Health Care System.

In Australia, for a long time, only people under 21 years of age or with a Health Care Card could get free access to these life-saving technologies. Then a few years ago, women who were planning pregnancy, pregnant or 3 months post-partum also became a part of the minority of Australians who could access these devices. However, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison rightly said in his announcement on April 17th 2022: 

“Type 1 Diabetes is an insidious condition that cannot be prevented and costs Australians thousands of dollars each year”.

And the good news kept coming! The Labor party confirmed shortly after this announcement that they would match this pledge.

Supporting Diabetes JDFR Walk

So what does this mean for someone like me, a 30-something year old living with Type 1 Diabetes who isn't eligible for any current subsidies?

I remembered being absolutely petrified when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (many, many years later after becoming a mum myself 2 years prior at 28 yrs of age). I had a 2 year old to care for, I was barely out of the woods of PND and here I was being told I had Type 1 Diabetes. A life-changing disease that couldn't be prevented, there was no cure and I knew exactly how quickly things could get bad with this disease. Sure, it definitely helped having the first-hand experience of life with T1D in the family, but that also came with the significant burden of knowing how quickly things can get bad and how much you depend on other people (sometimes complete strangers!) to keep you alive at times.

By the time of my diagnosis, Mum had started using the Freestyle Libre FGM technology which was providing incredibly valuable insights to both her and her Endocrinologist who were able to use the data to make tweaks to her day-to-day diabetes management, as well as reduce her overall burden of living with T1D. I hadn’t even left the hospital following my own diagnosis before my Dad came in to visit, bringing 2 x Freestyle Libre devices with him.

The availability of this technology made it so much easier to deal with my own diagnosis and "new norm". I can’t tell you how often I would scan each day to check on my blood sugar levels. Using this technology empowered me to closely monitor my blood glucose levels and make tweaks to my insulin dosing to get my HbA1c in the "ideal range" to start trying for our second baby. Once the TTC/pregnancy/postpartum subsidy came in I switched to Dexcom which was a whole new level of game changer in living with diabetes!

To have an alarm to alert me if I was going too high or too low is a huge security net for both me and my family. With CGM technology, I’m not scared to go to sleep at night and not wake up (I’ve been known to have a juice box before bed with no insulin to ease my worries about not waking up in the morning for my child while my husband was away for work).

Thanks to this CGM access, I’m not so scared about if I’m losing my hypo awareness or not. CGM does it for me. There is so much comfort in knowing that I’m less likely to have a hypo while looking after my son on my own (have you ever tried to treat a hypo while chasing a toddler around a park trying to keep him safe?!). It was an invaluable tool in my pregnancy management when I became pregnant with baby #2. It is not just me that it keeps safe. It kept my unborn baby safe...

Read more about the community impact that came from Australia delivering on CGM subsidies here: Full story.

by Lillian Whymark on November 30, 2022

What are the chances that these devices will be available for T2 in the near future. I am a pensioner and can’t afford to pay for them.

by Doug Braidwood on November 30, 2022

It would be nice if insulin dependent Type 2 diabetics also had access to CGM Technology. Type 2 ID Diabetics suffer the same or similar issues as type 1 diabetics and are shunned by Government and treated as a poor second every time there is an announcement.

by Jim Blundell on November 30, 2022

I’m T2 in an aged care home with gross pension income ater age care fees of about $100 a week. With Abbott’s Libre sensors costing some $95 fortnight there’s almost nothing left for heaps of other medicines and necessities. Get with it ‘caring’ Albo, put sensors on PBS or get Abbott’s to drop their monopoly pricing.


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