Diabetes meters change reaches next milestone

Media release Medicines

People with diabetes are being reminded about changes to blood glucose testing meters and testing strips.

From 1 December PHARMAC will stop funding meters other than the three meters from the CareSens range.

PHARMAC began funding the CareSens meters on 1 September and the changes to funding are being gradually phased in, says chief executive Steffan Crausaz. Over 48,000 of the new meters have been distributed throughout New Zealand.

“We will continue funding test strips for the old meters up to the end of February next year,” says Steffan Crausaz. “This means that people will be able to continue using their old meters as they transition to the CareSens range, which will be the funded meters and strips after 1st March 2013.”

Information and support is being provided for patients and health professionals to shift to the new meters. As part of its contract with PHARMAC, Pharmaco (supplier of the CareSens meters) is visiting health centres and pharmacies throughout the country during the implementation period, which ends on 28 February 2013.

By mid-November, Pharmaco reps had visited 43% of medical centres, 71% of community  pharmacies, and 94% of hospital diabetes centres to provide information and support to health professionals who will largely train patients in how to use the new meters.

PHARMAC is also supporting the change programme with a series of events called Meet Your Meter. The events give people a chance to choose which of the three funded meters is right for them, learn about the best way to use meters, and have any other questions they might have about diabetes management answered.

The events are being run by PHARMAC and Pharmaco, linking in with local diabetes societies and health providers.

“We expect that most people will receive a new meter and be trained at their next regular visit to a health practice or pharmacy,” says Steffan Crausaz. “The Meet Your Meter events are an additional opportunity for people to get information about the meters.”

“We know that not everyone will be able to attend a Meet Your Meter event, so we are also providing information and support for pharmacists and health practices so that they can help patients adjust to the new meters.”

People can find out more about the events and RSVP for the events either online at www.pharmac.govt.nz/diabreg [link no longer available], by freephone 0800 344 899, or by email at meter@verve.co.nz.