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Australian government reduces the number of glucose testing strips you are entitled to

Discussion in 'Diabetes Soapbox - Have Your Say' started by miss miss, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. miss miss

    miss miss Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    a few years ago now, the Australian government changed the number of testing strips that a diabetic was entitled to

    this is what landed me in intensive care unit were apparently I died and there was talk of putting me in an induced coma

    I had what I believed to be a hypo and so I had some juice and I continued with the symptoms of what I experienced before was a low but I did not have any testing strips and the pharmacy told me I used up my allowance and refused to sell me any more

    so as brain got foggy and I slept and slept and slept I did not realize I was actually very high blood glucose
    I did not realise how sick I was and kept thinking to myself that as soon as I get enough sleep I will go to the doctor and get the doctor to check out my diabetes properly etc

    instead my partner called the ambulance and the rest is history

    so the point is that I would have been able to see that my blood glucose was high or low and taken better action if I had the test strips that I needed. I would have known when I got to a reading of 10 to start drinking water and exercising etc rather than allowing my blood glucose to get to 25
    I could have averted this emergency totally if the government did not change the amount of testing strips that a diabetic was entitled to per year
     
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  2. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    This is what happened then, and when NDSS put out a six month strip request form which your GP / CDE signs off so you can have subsidised strips still under the NDSS. I have never had problems being able to get a box of 100 strips a fortnight in all of this time.

    https://www.ndss.com.au/wp-content/...e-test-strip-6-month-access-approval-form.pdf

    Several weeks ago the need for such a form has been stopped for the duration of the CV19 pandemic.

    https://www.ndss.com.au/news/six-month-approval-for-bgts-suspended/
     
  3. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    on the NDSS order form
    Diabetes Australia has an obligation not to supply product above the national levels of average use. These levels are 900 strips per 180 day period. Registrants who may require supplies in excess of these amounts should contact the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700 to discuss their product requirements.

    If no one uses product above the "national average" then that average is going to go down pretty fast. I suggest you phone the helpline above and try ordering your strips from the NDSS rather than the chemist.

    I use 50 strips a week (in New Zealand) and have no issue getting them prescribed. 5 strips a day just isn't enough for someone on insulin, even if you're just doing before meals, bed, suspected hypos/hypers and (surely very important for public safety) before driving.

    Good luck.
     
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  4. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    So much depend on your lifestyle as to how many strips you use. I would have thought 90 strips per 18 days was quite good. I use about 90 strips per 28 days; more if I drive a lot.
     
  5. BaliRob

    BaliRob Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Is this monitoring designed to stop strips being sold on Ebay I wonder?
     
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  6. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    The pharmacy where I get my strips from, they have never said I have had used up my 9 x 100 boxes ration and cut supply if I have ordered more than that as a "non insulin dependent T2".

    The supply of strips to T1 diabetics were / are not affected by this ruling it "ONLY" applied to T2's.

    It could be, but most countries cut back on supplying free / subsidised T2 strips around the same time.

    Most strip boxes here in Australia have "Not for sale in the US on them".
     
  7. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Which would be 5 a day? Nowhere near enough as far as I'm concerned, that would equate to 3 before meals, maybe one for driving and one if you feel low? EVERY person is different and manages their diabetes differently, I exercise a lot, I drive more than once a day, I test at least once a day when I am feeling low. Even on a quiet day it's a minimum of 7. I honestly do not understand why they would be restricted at all unless you were using absolutely ridiculous numbers. How can you ever justify restricting LIFE SAVING equipment simply to save money? My absolute bugbear is when other people imply you're doing it wrong because you're not like them. Some people do not drift along with stable glucose levels and it's time Drs recognised this.
     
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    #7 KK123, Jun 3, 2020 at 8:23 PM
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
  8. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    @Daibell and @KK123 this only applies to T2 diabetics who are not insulin dependent or on hypo inducing medication such as Gliclazide etc.

    I use a tub of fifty strips a a week testing before and after meals, which would be the average usage for a diet controlled T2.
     
  9. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    That's fair enough, and my understanding is that T2s in the UK don't get testing strips at all if they aren't on some form of hypo inducing medication, but, in the opening post of this thread....

    I don't know @miss miss 's medications, but why would she be thinking she was hypo if she were T2 without any hypo inducing drugs.....
     
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  10. miss miss

    miss miss Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    that is my point, that strips should not be restricted. sometimes something happens and you need to test more than usual.



     
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  11. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi miss miss, I think you are saying then that ALL diabetics should have unlimited test strips whether they are on insulin/glucose lowering drugs or not? I was commenting on type 1s (or those on such drugs), not on those who are diet only or on drugs that don't cause hypos. My own opinion is that type 2s should have an amount of strips for testing when they need to (and more than the norm if they can justify it to their circumstances) and a monitor but they don't even get a monitor (mostly) in the UK and that is wrong. As for your original post, well it sounds very alarming that your levels went so high that you nearly died?, that sounds like an extreme scenario and I can fully understand why you want more strips than normal. x
     
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  12. miss miss

    miss miss Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    it is false economy to cut down on how many strips you are entitled because it cost the government many thousands of dollars for my stay in intensive care and also emergency - all for the price of a box of testing strips
     
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  13. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Type 2 diabetic can have hypos. My doctor has witnessed one with me.

    It may not result in death or coma, but is very frightening, and sometimes leads to losing consciousness in me. This is dangerous if out and about or if we injure ourselves when we pass out. I am diet controlled only.

    For some reason, some type 2's can have a very delayed liver response, and blood sugar levels of 2 or under at that time. It can take an hour or more to return to normal levels. And a day to fully recover.

    They made be called "false hypos" but that term is inadequate for the effect they have. It is far more than feeling a bit shaky.

    I believe there are a lot of types of diabetes under the umbrella of type 2.
     
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  14. Norfolkmell

    Norfolkmell Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    I am about to have this fight with my new GP. I have recently moved 12 miles, same county same CCG but different surgery. The unhelpful practice nurse who took my repeat prescription request on Tuesday told me I couldn’t have strips and lancets on prescription, despite all the advice for T2 to know, and I eat to my meter, eat low carb and my previous GP had no problem prescribing them. The nurse said she would refer it to a GP, I told her I would fight all the way on this and I will. It wasn’t a good introduction to a new surgery.
    Just in case I looked on this website and they offer a free meter, 400 lancets, 400 strips for about £100 a year subscription, that’s just over one test a day, I have times when I can use 6 or 8 a day depending what my results are and whether I’m well or not. NICE say that self monitoring should be available to provide information to avoid hypo’s. Which I have had, not often but usually when I’m struggling with one of my other conditions.
    I suspect that my new surgery is concerned with cost not results and controlling BG. But I will argue as long as I need too, not looking forward to it though and haven’t even met anyone from practice yet, this was a telephone call as due to Covid I’m in the lockdowned vulnerable group. Watch this space!
     
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  15. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    All you need to know about the now four year ruling.

    https://www.ndss.com.au/about-the-ndss/changes-to-the-ndss/1-july-2016/

    https://www.diabetesqld.org.au/news/are-you-getting-texts-about-your-test-strips/

    All a T2 has to do is join the NDSS for subsidized strips. which is free to join.
     
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  16. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I see you are not on hypo risk meds. You are lucky to have got strips. I have never, in 8 years, got any strips or meter or lancets from my GP, despite me proving how much use they are to my control.
     
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  17. miss miss

    miss miss Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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  18. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You will be very lucky to get strips from the NHS if you are not on hypo inducing medication as it is against NICE guidance.
    Perhaps it is time to consider if some of your testing is really necessary. When I was first diagnosed I used lots of strips, fasting, before and after meals etc. Now I know what meals I can safely eat, and fasting reads pretty much the same every day, testing more than a few times a week would give me no useful information.
     
  19. Norfolkmell

    Norfolkmell Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    I have received free strips and lancets for 4 years without question I still test because of my other conditions no two days are the same, I can eat something one day, the next time I eat it I either drop below three or above 10. I need to know what is happening so that I can adjust what I’m eating. According to NI.CE I should test before driving how can I do that if I don’t have the ability to test. I cannot afford to pay I’m a pensioner on a fixed income.
     
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  20. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    As your profile says you are not on hypo risk medication, you do not need to test before or during driving

    Does your profile need updating? We can only comment on what we know about you, based on the information you give.
     
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