Pinch of 'life saving' device cost
A EUMUNDI woman living with type 1 diabetes is frustrated over a "life saving” device not covered under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Rachel Zinman was diagnosed with LADA, a form of type 1 diabetes, 10 years ago and as a yoga teacher regular finger pricks were inconvenient, indiscreet and painful.
Ms Zinman began using a flash glucose monitor which gave her an instant and more "reliable” reading.
"It is an incredible tool for people living with type 1 diabetes,” she said.
"I use the monitor so I can see the trends that are happening with my blood sugar and I can catch a low before it gets out of hand.”
But the device costs $90 a fortnight, a price Ms Zinman cannot regularly afford.
As an advocate for diabetic living and yoga, she was under the impression the FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system would be included on the PBS from March 1.
In November last year, Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt stated the Liberal Government would subsidise glucose monitoring devices for eligible pregnant women, children and adults with type 1 diabetes.
"Our government also plans to add the new FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system to the scheme,” Mr Hunt said.
However, Ms Zinman was shocked to find out it had not been included.
"You get this feeling of despondency,” she said.
"This is super challenging for me, I don't have that consistency to know, it's life threatening.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said the device was not eligible for consideration on the PBS as it is not a medicine, but said there may be scope to include it in the National Diabetes Services Scheme.
"The FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system may be added to the list of products subsidised under the scheme, subject to price negotiations with the product sponsor,” the spokesperson said.
Now Ms Zinman is back to 20 finger pricks per day to monitor her levels.
"It effects everything and causes so much stress.”