New resource for diabetes after difficult 1 July changes

woman monitoring diabetes skin prick test

Following the bumpy 1 July introduction of changes to the NDSS, South Australian Diabetes Educator Jayne Lehman and pharmacy consultant Kos Sclavos have launched a new resource for educators and pharmacists.

The Diabetes Educator Implementation Checklist for Diabetes Care Pathways for CDEs and Community Pharmacists is being launched by Lehmann and Sclavos today, at a Roche panel session at the Australian Diabetes Society and Australian Diabetes Educators Association conference on the Gold Coast.

The checklist is aimed at helping community pharmacists and Credentialled Diabetes Educators work closer together, Sclavos says.

“There is a great deal of confusion in the media [regarding the] NDSS due to some ill-informed media reports,” Sclavos says.

“The 1 July changes have not gone through as smoothly as everyone had wished and this has added to the confusion.

“Pharmacy staff need to be better informed on referral pathways in their local area, including Credentialled Diabetes Educators.

“It is important for community pharmacy staff to work with their local Credentialled Diabetes Educators given the support they can give patients re continued access to blood glucose monitoring strips, if appropriate.” 

Blood glucose monitoring strip restrictions will impact on the 789,985 Australians who are not prescribed insulin to manage their type 2 diabetes, Sclavos points out. The strips were delisted from the PBS earlier this year.

As of 1 July, people with type 2 diabetes not using insulin were eligible for six months of BGM strips from their first purchase on or after 1 July 2016.

After the first six months of strips, they will need a review with their Credentialled Diabetes Educator, doctor or nurse practitioner to see if they have a clinical need for ongoing BGM.   

If individuals meet one or more of the following criteria, a further six months of BGM access can be approved:

  1. The person has an inter-current illness that may adversely affect blood glucose control
  2. The person is undergoing treatment with a medicine that may adversely affect blood glucose control
  3. The person’s diabetes is inadequately controlled
  4. There is a clinical need for the person to self-monitor their blood glucose control
  5. There has been a change to the person’s existing diabetes management within the previous three months.

Lehmann highlighted several of the problems associated with the 1 July changes in a recent Support Guide for credentialed diabetes educators.

Stockpiling strips is expected to be a significant problem, she wrote.

People expected to be impacted by the decision include tourists who run out of BGM strips during a holiday; and people who have low health literacy or poor reading or English skills.

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