Managing diabetes is expensive. It requires buying insulin, testing supplies, monitoring devices and supplies, emergency supplies, and more. There is also the cost of doctor visits, specialist visits, and emergency care in the event of severe hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, or other issues. In some cases, poor diabetes management and overall health are a result of not being able to afford consistent care.
The federal government in Australia is taking steps to change this. The government has committed an additional $100 million over four years to increase access to free continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices for individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D). This has the potential to save families thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses each year. While there are some eligibility requirements, in general the expansion of services will include children and adolescents with T1D or conditions requiring insulin, pregnant women with T1D, and adults with T1D who have a high clinical need.
Patients can choose from a CGM sensor that is attached to the stomach or the arm. Arm sensors are used with the FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System, and information is sent directly to the patient’s cell phone or diabetes management device. This allows closer tracking of glucose levels without constant finger sticks, and information can be easily shared with healthcare providers. In addition, having access to CGM devices may reduce patient anxiety and stress regarding diabetes management, as well as decrease emergency hospital visits.
It is encouraging to see the government recognizing the importance of quality diabetes care and stepping up to support patients living with T1D to make diabetes management more affordable and accessible. The Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is interested to see the influence this could have on future diabetes care and the impact it will have on patients. The DRC is committed to raising funds for peer-reviewed, novel research studies on T1D by early career scientists. These projects play an instrumental role in advancing knowledge, treatment, and potential cures for the disease. Learn more about current research projects and support these efforts by visiting http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.