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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Diabetes Australia ramps up advocacy for equitable access to insulin pumps

Health Industry Hub | April 5, 2024 |

MedTech & Diagnostics News: Diabetes Australia has intensified its efforts, rallying for equitable access to insulin pumps, a cornerstone in the treatment of type 1 diabetes.

Joined by other diabetes organisations, Diabetes Australia penned a letter to Dr Mike Freelander MP, Chair of the Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care, and Sport, urging governmental action to ensure that all Australians with type 1 diabetes can afford vital insulin pump therapy.

Recent developments abroad underscore the global momentum toward making diabetes technology more accessible. United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) is enhancing access to hybrid closed-loop systems, also known as artificial pancreases. An investment of 2.5 million pounds is earmarked to expand access to these innovative systems, building upon a successful pilot phase. The initiative prioritises individuals facing heightened risks, including pregnant women, those with HbA1C levels surpassing 7.5%, and children and young adults under 18.

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In New Zealand, policymakers are consulting on a proposal that could secure funding for a suite of medical devices, including insulin pumps, for New Zealanders with type 1 diabetes. Moreover, plans are afoot to streamline the access criteria for insulin pumps, simplifying the process for those in need.

“As other countries expand their investment in this important technology, it’s more important than ever that Australians living with type 1 diabetes are not left behind,” asserted a spokesperson for Diabetes Australia.

Despite their clear health benefit insulin pumps are expensive and unaffordable for many. Presently, only 24% of individuals with type 1 diabetes in Australia have access to this critical technology – a stark contrast to countries like the United States, where uptake rates are around 63% for adults and 58% for children and young adults.

Central to Diabetes Australia’s advocacy is the push for affordable access to an array of diabetes technologies, encompassing not just insulin pumps for type 1 diabetes but also continuous glucose monitors (CGM) for individuals with type 2 diabetes.

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