This means that after 1 March, 2013, only patients with subsidised CareSens meters will be able to receive subsidised testing strips for their meters. If patients have not already been switched to a CareSens meter, this should begin to occur now. Practices may need to schedule consultations with patients to demonstrate the new meters and assist in the switching process. The changes may also provide an opportunity to review patients’ current testing regimens and educate on appropriate testing.

Key dates for changes to diabetes management products

  • 1 September 2012 – CareSens range of blood glucose meters and testing strips listed on the Pharmaceutical Schedule
  • 1 December 2012 – CareSens range of blood glucose meters now the only meters subsidised
  • 1 March 2013 – only CareSens range of testing strips will be subsidised

Funding of other meters continues for some patients:

  • For patients who were 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 who were 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 strips. The Ministry of Health-Sector Services will be automatically issuing Special Authority approval numbers for patients identified as eligible through claims data, in late February 2013.

Where to find information about the new meters

Demonstration models

Pharmaco representatives have been visiting general practices around New Zealand to provide training and information about CareSens meters. Samples of the three subsidised meters can be supplied to practices to demonstrate to patients.

If your practice has not been visited and you wish to receive information or sample meters, phone 0508 CARESENS (0508 2273 7367)

“Meet Your Meter” events

PHARMAC has scheduled events around New Zealand (from November 2012 to March 2013) to provide people with an opportunity to learn about the CareSens meters and select the model that best suits their needs. N.B. Meters are not provided to patients at the events – they must be picked up from a pharmacy.

To find out if there is an event in your area, visit: www.pharmac.govt.nz

Patient leaflet and other online resources

Factsheets for patients about the CareSens meters are available to download from: www.pharmac.govt.nz or order printed copies from: www.pharmaconline.co.nz

Information about the funding changes and decisions surrounding the changes, for health professionals, is also available from: www.pharmac.govt.nz

Training module for Practice Nurses

An online training module (toolkit) is available for practice nurses and other health professionals, to provide education on the CareSens blood glucose meters and testing strips. This module provides 0.5 hours towards continuing professional development (CPD) requirements.

The toolkit is available from: www.goodfellowclub.org

CareSens meters

Information for patients about the CareSens meters is available from: www.caresens.co.nz or free phone: 0800 GLUCOSE (0800 458 267).

  • The CareSens II stores up to 250 records on the meter, which can also be downloaded to a computer
  • The CareSens N calculates and displays the 14-day average of total test results, as well as pre-and post-meal test results. It also has an alarm to remind the user to test at meal times. It stores up to 250 records, which can be downloaded.
  • The CareSens N POP has an LCD screen that is automatically lit when used at night. This meter also has a strip expiration indicator and a hypoglycaemia indicator. It can store up to 500 records, and also has test averaging functionality.

A table comparing the features of each meter is available from: www.caresens.co.nz

CareSens meters also come with:

  • Batteries – a free replacement battery service is available through the CareSens website and community pharmacies
  • Logbook – extra logbooks are available by calling the free phone help line, a charge for postage and packaging applies
  • Lancets – a lancing device and 50 lancets are provided with new meters, additional lancets (in boxes of 100) are available for purchase from community pharmacies
  • PC software – a CareSens computer programme is available for free download from the CareSens website. A USB cable can be purchased to connect the meter to a computer – this can be ordered by calling the free phone patient help line.

Test Strips

Two types of test strip are available, and fully subsidised, for the CareSens meters:

  • CareSens test stips – for use with the CareSens II
  • CareSens N – for use with the CareSens N and CareSens N POP

Test strips are not individually wrapped and should be kept in the vial with the lid closed.

Contact information

Free phone help line for health professionals – 0508 CARESENS (0508 2273 7367)

Free phone help line for patients – 0800 GLUCOSE (0800 458 2673)

CareSens information online – www.caresens.co.nz

Details of funding changes, seminars and general information – www.pharmac.govt.nz