Some people may have seen news reports yesterday about changes to access of blood glucose strips for people with diabetes in Australia. Some reports were a little light on detail (and by ‘light on detail’ I mean ‘incorrect’) and there has been a lot of discussion on SoMe with people trying to get the facts and work out what it means for them.

This information on the Department of Health’s website gives all the details to date.

Following the news piece, quite a few people have been in touch asking me if I can provide some clarification. I have no details other than what has already been announced publicly. When the announcement was made last year, I wrote this piece about it, so for some background of the issue – and my take on it – have a read.

But what does it mean TODAY for people with diabetes in Australia?

  • These changes DO NOT affect people with type 1 diabetes or insulin-treated type 2 diabetes.
  • No one should be denied access to BGL strips today, tomorrow, next week or next month. While the change in policy took effect from 1 July 2016, an initial six-month supply has been automatically granted to all NDSS registrants with non-insulin treated type 2 diabetes. This means the earliest anyone may be affected by the changes is 1 January 2017.
  • Further information will be coming, so keep an eye on the NDSS and Department of Health websites.
  • Speak with your HCP about the changes if you are concerned about how this will affect you and your diabetes management.

I know that many of us are feeling a little confused about diabetes supplies at the moment with the recent changes in how we access our consumables, and this seems to just be another change we need to deal with.

And as with all change, there is often a lot of speculation and misinformation being shared around. The sensationalist nature of yesterday’s reports did nothing to allay any of these concerns and only fuelled the fire of uncertainty. And is yet another example of poor reporting of diabetes in the media.