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Unprecedented government funding commitment for National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS)

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MEDIA INFORMATION Embargoed for release Monday 30 October 2006

Unprecedented government funding commitment for National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS)

Diabetes Australia has announced record expenditure of $750 million for the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) over the next five years. Diabetes Australia administers the NDSS on behalf of the Australian Government.

The new agreement reinforces the commitment of both the Australian Government and Diabetes Australia to serving Australians with diabetes, said the President of Diabetes Australia, Associate Professor Peter Little.

“At a time when there are increasing concerns among experts of a pandemic in diabetes and its cost to the community, the Australian Government is responding with increased funding for the NDSS, which includes funding for a package of new initiatives to help people manage their diabetes,” Professor Little said.

The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) is a vital component of the strategy to support and improve the lives of Australians with diabetes. It is a program that provides blood and urine testing strips, syringes, needles and insulin pump consumables at subsidised prices to people with diabetes who register for its benefits. More than 780,000 Australians are currently registered on the NDSS.

“The combination of affordable access to products, access to written materials, information telephone services and web-based support are key to enhancing the self-management by people with Type 1, Type 2 or Gestational Diabetes,” Professor Little said.

“Diabetes Australia applauds the Minister’s personal role and support in developing this agreement, which breaks new ground and offers a significantly more comprehensive level of support for people with diabetes, their families and carers,” he said.

33-year old Leanne Cowan, who has Type 1 diabetes, welcomed the announcement saying, “The NDSS is one of the cornerstones of my diabetes management. It makes living with diabetes affordable, and for me, is the difference between having to pay $60 for two months worth of consumables versus around $500”.

Significant components of the new agreement include:

Maintained affordability of products for the self-management of diabetes

Identified funding stream for nationally consistent projects - commencing at $1.5m in the first year

Access to a funding pool to develop new initiatives that will enhance the capacity for self-management of diabetes by people with diabetes in high risk groups e.g. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people from different cultural backgrounds, people with concurrent mental health disorders and people with diabetes moving from childhood to adulthood.

Increasing the number of access points in the first year by at least 40 new sites. Undertaking a review of the efficiency of the existing supply chain, from pharmaceutical suppliers through to registrants within the first year of the agreement.

Indexing the funding of the scheme on a formula relevant to the real costs of the scheme delivery

“I want to acknowledge the fact that the partnership between the Australian Government and Diabetes Australia in delivering this scheme is entering its 20th year.

“I believe this partnership has been a good example of government and a community organisation working well together for the benefit of Australians,” Professor Little added.

The new Agreement will run from 1 November 2006 to 30 June 2011.


Background Information

About the NDSS

The NDSS is an initiative of the Australian Government administered by Diabetes Australia Ltd.

The NDSS is a program that provides blood and urine testing strips, syringes, needles and insulin pump consumables at subsidised prices to people with diabetes who register for its benefits.

Diabetes Australia has administered the NDSS for the Australian Government since 1987.

The NDSS aims to enhance the capacity of people with diabetes to understand and manage their life with diabetes and to ensure they have timely, reliable and

affordable access to the supplies and services they require to effectively self-manage their condition.

About Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease characterised by high blood glucose levels resulting from the body not producing insulin or using it properly. Insulin is a hormone needed for glucose to enter the cells and be converted to energy.

ï¿» Diabetes is Australia’s fastest-growing chronic disease ï¿» Approximately 275 adults in Australia develop diabetes every day (ie more than 100,000 annually). This represents 8 adults in every 1,000 (AusDiab study)

ï¿» Over one million Australians have diabetes - half of them don’t know it yet ï¿» People with diabetes are almost three times more likely to have high blood pressure, obesity or elevated blood fats. eg cholesterol ï¿» They are two to three times more likely to have cardio-vascular disease, eg

heart disease and stroke ï¿» 65%-80% of people with diabetes will die of coronary heart disease ï¿» 15% of people with diabetes have heart disease compared to 2.5% without

diabetes ï¿» Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure ï¿» Renal disease accounts for 8% - 14% of deaths in people with diabetes ï¿» 5% of people with diabetes will experience foot ulcers ï¿» Of the 3000 amputations in people with diabetes, most are preventable ï¿» Visual problems are common in people with diabetes ï¿» Diabetes is the most common cause of blindness for people under 60 ï¿» Australia’s Indigenous population suffers the fourth highest rate of Type 2

diabetes in the world ï¿» 1,048 people are diagnosed every week,150 people every day ï¿» An average of 55,000 people are diagnosed every year ï¿» There are three major types of diabetes

o Type 1 - most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults and is where people are unable to produce insulin due to a disease process. Accounts for 10-15% of diabetes cases

o Type 2 - typically occurs in adults over 40, but is increasingly affecting people of all ages including children. Lifestyle factors such as unhealthy diet and lack of exercise can contribute to the development of Type 2 diabetes

o Gestational diabetes (GDM) is diagnosed when higher than normal blood glucose levels first appear during pregnancy. While the blood glucose levels usually return to normal after the birth of the baby, there is increased risk for Type 2 diabetes in the future

International figures

ï¿» Every 30 seconds a leg is lost to diabetes somewhere in the world ï¿» It is estimated that up to 85% of amputations could be avoided ï¿» Diabetes kills more people each year than HIV/AIDS ï¿» Every ten seconds, someone dies from diabetes related causes and 2 new

cases are diagnosed ï¿» Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in adults in developed countries

ï¿» Type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of all diabetes cases



11.30 AM Monday 30th October Senate Alcove Level 2 Parliament House, Canberra

CONTACT Information:

Associate Professor Peter Little President of Diabetes Australia 0417 530 981

Brian Conway Executive Director Diabetes Australia 0419 229 355

Leanne Cowan 0412 462 390