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Thousands of Aussies get cheaper diabetes care

Australian money notes. Australian woman with insulin pump on arm. Type 1 diabetes.
Thousands of Aussies will be able to access cheaper diabetes care. (Source: Getty)

Thousands of Aussies will be able to access cheaper diabetes care, saving hundreds of dollars a month.

From December 1, the Federal Government will subsidise access to Omnipod insulin pumps for the 130,000 Aussies living with type 1 diabetes. These pods are disposable and are replaced every three days.

The Government will also add the touchscreen device that programs and controls the pod to the Prosthese List, meaning it will be free for those with private health insurance. Aussies who don’t have health insurance will be able to access the touchscreen through a subscription fee with the device maker Insulet.

The change means Aussies can save hundreds of dollars each month. Previously, patients were paying more than $400 per month for the pod and touchscreen device.

Aussies will now pay a maximum of $29.30 per month, while concession card holders will pay up to $22.20 per month.

“Subsidising this next generation technology means freedom of choice for Australians with type 1 diabetes, as well as the freedom from wires and tubes,” Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler said.

The Government is subsidising the pods through the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) at community pharmacies.

Earlier this year the Government also expanded access to subsidised blood sugar monitoring products (known as Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) technology). Subsidies are now available for all Australians living with type 1 diabetes and costs are capped at $32.50 per month to access the technology.

According to a new report by Diabetes Australia, the number of people living with diabetes could rise to more than 3.1 million by 2050 - that’s around one in every 12 Australians.

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has skyrocketed 220 per cent since 2000. Around 40 per cent of adults in central Australia are now living with type 2 diabetes, which is the highest percentage in the world.

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