INDEPENDENT NEWS

Keeping up with technology for people with diabetes

Published: Thu 16 Nov 2017 01:20 PM
Keeping up with technology for people with diabetes
PHARMAC is giving people a choice of four funded CareSens meters, including a dual meter that measures both blood glucose and ketones.
PHARMAC has reached a new agreement with Pharmaco NZ Ltd to fund the CareSens range of blood glucose meters and test strips until 2022. Changes will start from 1 February next year.
The four funded meters will be:
CareSens N – currently funded
CareSens N Pop – currently funded
CareSens N Premier – not currently funded
CareSens Dual – not currently funded.
PHARMAC Deputy Medical Director Dr Bryan Betty says blood glucose meters are used every day by about 120,000 New Zealanders, and most people won’t have to change the meter they currently use.
“For some people the changes will mean a technology upgrade to meters that have additional features including Bluetooth connectivity,” he says.
The CareSens II meter which is currently funded is being discontinued, and people using CareSens II may be eligible for an upgrade to one of the other funded meters.
About 3000 people use Freestyle Optium or Accu-Check Performa meters to test glucose and/or blood ketones. These meters will no longer be funded, and people using them will be able to change to the funded CareSens Dual meter, which measures both blood glucose and blood ketones.
“We’ve made sure that these meters meet international standards for blood glucose meters and tests strips. The meters were also tested by New Zealand laboratories before they were considered for funding,” says Dr Betty.
“We’ve consistently engaged with a wide range of stakeholders throughout the funding process, drawing heavily on feedback received.
“This decision will benefit all New Zealanders by releasing significant savings, in excess of $10 million over 5 years. PHARMAC will be able to reinvest this money and improve access to other funded medical devices and medicines for New Zealanders,” says Dr Betty.
PHARMAC will be supporting people who need to change, working with Pharmaco to provide information for patients through pharmacies, diabetes clinics and general practice.
Timeline
1 February 2018 – transition period begins. CareSens N Premier and CareSens Dual meters are listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule
31 July 2018 – transition period ends. CareSens II meters and CareSens strips, Freestyle Optium/Neo meters and Freestyle Optium blood glucose and ketone test strips, and Accu-Chek Performa strips no longer funded. Special Authorities for these strips no longer valid after 31 July 2018.
1 August 2018 – CareSens are the only funded meters and test strips for blood glucose and ketones.
ENDS
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