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The Australian Government is committed to helping people with diabetes and their families live well.

As part of this vision, the Government provides considerable support to people of all ages with diabetes, enabling access to diabetes supplies at subsidised costs.

Through the NDSS, the Australian Government strives to strengthen the quality, availability, and affordability of diabetes supplies to ensure that people continue to have timely and reliable access to the supplies and services they need to manage their diabetes effectively.

Read on to know more about what kind of products and subsidies are available to you and how to order them.

What products are available?

To help you manage your diabetes, the NDSS gives you access to a range of subsidised products. These products include:

  • blood glucose testing strips
    (restrictions apply to people with type 2 diabetes who do not use insulin)
  • urine testing strips
  • insulin pump consumables
    (for approved persons with type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes)
  • continuous glucose monitoring products
    (for eligible and approved people with type 1 diabetes and ‘other’ eligible conditions)
  • insulin syringes and pen needles
    (if you need insulin or an approved non-insulin injectable medications).

State and Territory governments have agreed to cover the co-payments for pen needles or syringes purchased through the NDSS. This effectively means the needles and syringes are “free” to eligible people registered with the NDSS.

Medications (including insulin) are not available through the NDSS. You will need a prescription to buy these.

How many products can I buy?

There are limits to the number of products you may buy through the NDSS. The following products have limits in a 180-day period. These limits are:

  • 900 strips and/or
  • 1,200 syringes or pen needles or
  • 90 insulin pump cannulae and/or
  • 90 insulin pump reservoirs/cartridges

Continuous glucose monitoring products also have firm product use limits that are based on use of the device as advised by the manufacturer.

We understand that some people may need more products to manage their diabetes. If you need further information about NDSS products, please contact the NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588.

How to buy NDSS subsidised products

To buy subsidised products through the NDSS, you must register with the NDSS. You do not need a prescription from your doctor to buy products through the NDSS.

In all states and territories, you can get NDSS subsidised products from an NDSS Access Point. Many community pharmacies are Access Points, as are some health centres, clinics and hospitals.

You can find your closest Access Point by:

What do I need to know when buying products?

  • Whenever you order NDSS products, you will be asked for your NDSS registration number (which is on your NDSS card) or your Medicare card number.
  • If you hold a concession card you are eligible for additional subsidies. Please inform your Access Point of your concessional status at the time of purchase.
  • If your community pharmacy needs to order your product from a wholesaler, delivery timeframes apply. Products are generally available within 24–48 hours. In regional and remote areas, it may take longer.
  • Products have a use-by date and, to avoid wastage, should not be over-ordered.
  • NDSS products are for personal use only and are not for resale or distribution.
  • Access to the NDSS is only available while you’re living in Australia.

Concession card extra subsidies

You can get a further discount on some NDSS products if you hold one of the following concession cards:

  • Health Care card
  • Pensioner Concession card
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Safety Net card
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Concession card.

What happens if I’m overseas?

If you’re travelling or living overseas, the NDSS is not permitted to send products to you. Before travelling, please review your product requirements. You can buy up to six months’ worth of products to take with you.

Access to NDSS products is not available to you once you have left Australian territories.

For more information, see Travel and diabetes or call the NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588.

NDSS purchases for the last financial year

You can get a report from your local diabetes organisation which details all your purchases for the last financial year. This may be used for tax purposes. Please call the NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588 to request a copy of this report.