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Blood-sugar test price hike could impact diabetes control

According to a report by The Sydney Morning Herald, the cost of test strips to measure blood-sugar levels will increase by about 50 times for patients with type 2 diabetes who are not dependent on insulin because their diabetes is controlled.There are reportedly about 900,000 people with type 2 diabetes registered with the National Diabetes Services Sche, more than two-thirds of which are not insulin dependent. Type 2 diabetes can cause serious eye and other probls if not kept under control.From 1 July, the Federal Government subsidy on the test strips was roved, resulting in a significant cost increase from $1.20 to $60 for a box of 100 strips. It was said there would be a six-month transition period for the price change.The move reportedly followed the recommendation of a Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee review, which found little evidence that blood-glucose test strips improved glucose control, quality of life or long-term complications.A Diabetes Australia submission was cited as stating that the prise of the review was misguided. It likened measuring the effectiveness of the test strips to control blood glucose to using a thermometer to reduce a fever, adding, Clinical outcomes and benefits cannot reasonably be expected to arise from using a measurent tool. The risks of roving access to the strips were said to include hypoglycia and hyperglycia, delayed treatment, and additional costs arising from the aforentioned issues.Diabetes Australia chief executive officer Mr Greg Johnson said there had been universal access to the strips for almost 30 years, with no evidence they were being used wastefully. If the government wants people to take responsibility and it wants th to look after thselves, you’ve got to give th access to these things, he commented. The risk is that some people who no longer have access, their diabetes managent will suffer and that may have a cost to the health syst in the future.

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