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Changes to the NDSS

Find out more about changes to NDSS products and services.

Government funding boost enables more people to access new glucose monitoring devices through the NDSS from 1 March 2019

Updated 6 February 2019

The Australian Government is expanding subsidised access to continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and flash glucose monitoring (Flash GM) to support more people with diabetes, specifically those with high clinical needs. There will be no co-payment involved.

From 1 March 2019, the following additional groups of people will be able to access fully subsidised CGM or Flash GM devices:

People aged 21 years or older with type 1 diabetes, with valid concessional status, and who meet certain clinical needs criteria

Women with type 1 diabetes who are either actively planning pregnancy, are pregnant, or are in the immediate post-pregnancy period

  • Women with type 1 diabetes will be eligible for up to 12 months subsidised access to CGM or Flash GM to support active pregnancy planning. Once pregnant they will be eligible for subsidised access during the pregnancy and for up to three months after the expected date of birth of the child.
  • If you are a woman with type 1 diabetes and you are actively planning pregnancy, are pregnant, or in the post-pregnancy phase, you may be eligible.
  • More details are available at type 1 diabetes; pregnancy/post-pregnancy.

Children and young people aged under 21 years with conditions very similar to type 1 diabetes who require insulin

  • If a child or young person has a condition where there is a risk of hypoglycaemic episodes and active glucose monitoring is required, they may be eligible for subsidised CGM access.
  • More details are available at conditions similar to type 1 diabetes; aged under 21.

This initiative will save eligible people up to $7,000 annually.

Since 1 April 2017, the Australia Government has provided fully subsidised access to CGM products through the NDSS for children and young people with type 1 diabetes; under 21 years of age.

From 1 March 2019, as a result of a funding boost, over 37,000 Australians will be eligible for access to subsidised CGM and Flash GM products.

Flash glucose monitoring and sensors to be subsidised through the NDSS

  • Flash GM devices (Freestyle Libre) will be included in the program expansion from 1 March 2019 subject to price negotiations with the product sponsor.
  • This will provide greater choice for people with diabetes in managing their health.

For people with diabetes, families, those who may be eligible

We understand that you may have questions about CGM devices and eligibility criteria and time frames. The NDSS team is here to help you. For more information or support, call the NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588.

For NDSS Access Points

The new arrangements start on 1 March 2019.

For health professionals

People who are eligible for subsidised CGM devices have been advised to talk to their health professional about their clinical needs and eligibility criteria.

For more about this initiative announced on the Department of Health’s website.


Reduced NDSS co-payments

Updated 9 November 2018

Some NDSS products will become more affordable for many people with diabetes from 1 December 2018.

The cost of a number of NDSS products will either remain the same or reduce:

  • Blood glucose test strips and urine test strips:
    • cost to the registrant is reduced for all people without a concession card
    • cost to the registrant is reduced for most people with a concession card
  • Insulin pump infusion sets and reservoirs:
    • no cost change to the registrant for people without a concession card
    • cost to the registrant is reduced for all people with a concession card
  • Insulin syringes and pen needles:
    • no change
    • co-payments for insulin syringes will continue to be subsidised by State or Territory Governments.

Read more about the reduced NDSS co-payments.

Changes to NDSS products

Some changes will also be made to certain insulin syringes and some blood glucose test strips on the list of products available through the NDSS.

Most people with diabetes registered with the NDSS will not be affected by the product changes.

The changes include:

  • Several new brands of blood glucose test strips and insulin syringes will be added.
  • Some existing brands of blood glucose test strips and insulin syringes will be removed. People with diabetes who are affected will still be able to access the same types of subsidised products they need, but some brands of products will change. If someone’s usual brand is no longer subsidised through the NDSS, they can access a clinically equivalent NDSS product.
  • There will be no changes to urine ketone test strips, insulin pump consumables & continuous glucose monitoring products.

To see if a product is changing, please see the fact sheet for people with diabetes.

There is a transition period, from 1 December 2018 to 28 February 2019.

During the transition period, you may be able to purchase existing brands that are being removed from the list of products available through the NDSS. You will only be able to purchase these brands while existing community pharmacies stock is available. It is likely that available stock may reduce over the transition period as pharmacies sell their available stock. If you require assistance in changing brands, you may wish to consult your healthcare team for assistance.

Free blood glucose meters

People with diabetes registered on the NDSS will be eligible to receive a free blood glucose meter associated with your preferred new brand of blood glucose test strips.

With respect to the new blood glucose meters, people are encouraged to discuss the most suitable options with their health professional. To find out which meters are suitable for NDSS-funded blood glucose test strips, as well as how to get one of these meters, read the how to access a free blood glucose meter fact sheet.

More information can be found here:

For NDSS Access Points

The new arrangements start on 1 December 2018. For Access Points, this is followed by a three-month transition period, during which time you can transition your stock of products being delisted. For more information specific to NDSS Access Points.

For health professionals

People who will be impacted by the changes have been advised to talk to their health professional about changing their blood glucose meter and/or syringe needle length. For more information specific to health professionals.

Available support

We understand that change can be challenging, and the NDSS team is here to help people with diabetes, their families and carers, health professionals, and NDSS Access Points during this transition period. For more information or support, call the NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588.

To view the changes announced on the Department of Health’s website.


Continuous glucose monitoring information

Updated 1 April 2017

For information about access to continuous glucose monitoring products through the NDSS.


Important notice about NDSS product supply and delivery

Updated 1 July 2016

There have been changes to the way NDSS products are supplied and delivered.

What this means for people with diabetes:

Consumers will now receive all NDSS products, including insulin pump consumables (IPCs), through NDSS Access Points, usually your local community pharmacy.

If you do not know where your nearest NDSS community pharmacy is located, you can check on the NDSS website at ndss.com.au or call the NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588.

Changes to the NDSS

The Australian Government implemented changes to the NDSS from 1 July 2016. Under these changes, NDSS products are no longer distributed through Diabetes Australia and state and territory diabetes organisations.

Diabetes Australia and state and territory diabetes organisations will continue to deliver NDSS support and education services for people living with all types of diabetes.

From 1 July 2016, NDSS products, such as needles, syringes, blood glucose test strips and urine test strips will be available from NDSS Access Points, usually your local community pharmacy.

In addition, insulin pump consumables are now available from Access Points. If an Access Point does not stock the product, they can be ordered by and delivered to the Access Point, usually within 24-48 hours. People using an insulin pump are encouraged to speak to their local Access Point about their requirements.

The Australian Government has also made changes to access to subsidised test strips for people with type 2 diabetes who do not use insulin. From 1 July 2016, all people with type 2 diabetes who are not using insulin can purchase subsidised blood glucose testing strips for an initial period of six months.

For example, if you purchased blood glucose test strips on 3 July 2016, you will have access until 2 January 2017. If you purchased them on 1 August 2016, you will have access until 31 January 2017.

If your doctor, credentialled diabetes educator or nurse practitioner decides that it is necessary for you to continue to monitor your blood glucose levels, they will need to sign an NDSS Blood Glucose Test Strip Six Month Approval form. This will mean you can access subsidised blood glucose test strips for a further six month period. You will need to bring this signed form to your pharmacy.

It is recommended that people with type 2 diabetes have an HbA1c test at least every six months. This will give you an opportunity to discuss your need to monitor your blood glucose levels as part of your diabetes management.

It’s important to talk to your doctor, credentialled diabetes educator or nurse practitioner if you are concerned about these changes. There are no limits to the number of blood glucose test strip approvals that may be granted as long as there is a need for you to continue to monitor your blood glucose levels.

You can access the form here.

These changes will not affect people with diabetes using insulin, or people with gestational or other diabetes.

Please contact the NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588 if you have any questions or concerns.

A letter was sent by the Department of Health to people with diabetes registered on the NDSS, health professionals, and NDSS pharmacy Access Points. You can see copies of those letters below.

All NDSS Community Pharmacies were sent a letter in June 2016 with a Direct Debit Request form.

A list of answers to questions frequently asked by Access Points is available here.

To view the changes announced on the Department of Health’s website.