What do the Recent NDSS Changes Mean For Me?

Recently there have been some alterations to the National Diabetes Service Scheme (NDSS), which means the way your NDSS products are supplied and delivered is changing.

If you’re registered with the NDSS, you may have received a letter outlining how the most recent changes will affect you and how access to NDSS products will vary. But just in case you missed the memo, we asked Credentialled Diabetes Educator and Clinical Nurse, Leanne Mullan, to provide an overview of the scheme and a reminder of the changes.

What is the NDSS?

The NDSS (National Diabetes Service Scheme) is a government initiative offering a range of services to help people manage their life with diabetes. The NDSS provides education, information, resources and programs to people with diabetes. It also provides a range of diabetes products such as glucose testing strips and insulin pump consumables at a subsidised cost. To find out more about the NDSS click here. (www.ndss.com.au/)

Who can join the NDSS?

It is free to register with the NDSS and every Australian who is diagnosed with diabetes is eligible to join.

“Your doctor, diabetes specialist or credentialled diabetes educator can assist you to sign up. You do not need a doctor’s prescription to purchase NDSS products, rather just need to be registered with the NDSS. Once registered you will be sent an NDSS card that you present when purchasing NDSS products, alternatively your pharmacist can look up your details on the NDSS register,” Leanne said.

Where can I get NDSS products?

NDSS products can no longer be purchased through Diabetes Australia, local state or territory diabetes organisations or the NDSS Helpline.

“You will now need to purchase all NDSS products (such as glucose testing strips, urine testing strips, insulin pump consumables, insulin syringes and pen needles) from NDSS Access Points, which are usually your local community pharmacies,” Leanne said.

You can find your closest NDSS Access Point here or you can call the NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588 for more information.

Who is eligible for NDSS products?

“If you have Type 2 diabetes and are not using insulin you are able to receive an initial six-month supply of subsidised blood glucose test strips through the NDSS.

“After this six-month period, you will only be eligible for further access to subsidised test strips if your doctor, credentialled diabetes educator or diabetes nurse practitioner consider it is necessary,” Leanne said.

Keeping in regular contact with your doctor and diabetes team will be important in helping you manage your diabetes.

“Your doctor and diabetes team will be able to authorise you to have further access to subsidised testing strips should you require them. There is no limit of the number of times you can be given additional access to subsidised blood glucose test strips,” she said.

If you are registered with the NDSS and you take insulin or have gestational diabetes or another form of diabetes, you are able to access NDSS products without the need for authorisation from a doctor or member of your diabetes team.

Are there limits on the number of NDSS products I can purchase?

There are some limits to the number of products you can purchase under the NDSS. Currently the limits per 180 days are:

  • 900 testing strips
  • 1200 sharps (pen needles/syringes)
  • 90 cannulas & 90 reservoirs/cartridges (for people using insulin pumps)

How can I get the most out of the NDSS scheme?

  1. Ensure you are registered with the NDSS

    to take advantage of the support the provide, in order to help you better manage your diabetes.

  2. Identify a good local pharmacy with a strong understanding of diabetes (your NDSS Access Point)

    This will be a starting point in helping to alleviate any worries you have about the NDSS changes. Developing a connection with your local pharmacy will also give you confidence that the diabetes products you require will be available to you when you need them.

  3. Stay in regular contact with your healthcare team. 

    Keep in regular contact with your doctor and your personal health care team to ensure your diabetes management is on track and finally, take a holiday!

Leanne Mullan is a Credentialled Diabetes Educator and Clinical Nurse with over 10 years’ experience working in the clinical setting and more recently, helping patients manage their diabetes.

She has been engaged by Sanofi to provide regular expert commentary for Diabetes-Care. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the expert and do not necessarily reflect the view of Sanofi. 

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