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Key dates for the changes
On 1 September 2012, three new blood glucose meters were listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule: CareSens II, CareSens N and CareSens N POP.
The CareSens brand will replace previously funded diabetes meters, however, changes will be phased in over six months, so there is no need for patients or health professionals to take urgent action or initiate additional patient visits to change meters.
PHARMAC is working with the supplier and health professional groups to run a nationwide meter swap campaign, to demonstrate the meters to patients and provide environmentally safe disposal of old meters.
The changes may also provide an opportunity to review patients' current testing regimens and educate on appropriate testing.
Funding of existing meters continues for some patients:
- For patients using the Accu-Chek Performa meter with an Accu-Chek Combo insulin pump prior to 1 June 2012, there will be continued funding, via Special Authority, for the Accu-Chek testing strips for the life of the Accu-Chek Combo insulin pump
- For patients using a Freestyle Optium (Optium Xceed) meter as their only meter for both blood glucose and ketone testing prior to 1 June 2012, there will be continued funding, via Special Authority, of the Optium blood glucose test strip
1 September 2012 - CareSens range of blood glucose meters and testing strips listed for subsidy on the Pharmaceutical Schedule
1 December 2012 - only CareSens range of blood glucose meters will be subsidised. Other currently funded brands of blood glucose meters (Accu-Chek Performa, Optium Xceed, On Call Advanced, FreeStyle Lite) will no longer be funded
1 March 2013 - only CareSens range of testing strips will be subsidised. Other currently funded brands of testing strips (Accu-Chek Performa, Optium 5 second test, On Call Advanced, FreeStyle Lite) will no longer be funded
- There are a few key differences between the meter people are using now and the new meters:
- For most patients, no calibration step is required
- There is no ability to "top up" the blood sample on test strip
- Test strips need to stay in their storage container and the expiry date should be checked
- PC Software is available free of charge - a USB cable is available from Pharmaco
- Key information about the meters, including patient information in multiple languages, is available from: www.caresens.co.nz
- For any meter queries, contact Pharmaco on: 0800 GLUCOSE (0800 458 2673)
The CareSens II has a large screen and large numerals useful for vision impaired people with diabetes. It stores 250 records on the meter or records can be downloaded to the PC Care software.
The CareSens N is a simple, no-coding meter, which calculates and displays the 14-day average of total test results, as well as pre- and post- meal test results. This meter is ideal if people need to test frequently or require alarms to remind them to test at meal times. The meter stores 250 records which can be downloaded to the PC Care software.
CareSens N POP
The N POP meter includes more advanced functions such as LCD backlighting, plus strip expiry indicator alarm and no manual coding. The meter stores 500 records which can be downloaded to the PC Care software.
As well as changes to blood glucose testing equipment, PHARMAC is now funding insulin pumps and consumables. The Animas 2020 insulin pump and a range of insulin pump consumables are available via Special Authority for those people who meet the criteria. The application form can be completed online and eligibility against the Special Authority criteria will be assessed by a panel of clinicians. A further competitive process is currently underway to identify a second insulin pump for funding - this process is hoped to be completed by the end of 2012.
Online form available from:
For further information about these changes, see: www.pharmac.govt.nz/diabetes