Australians with type 1 diabetes will soon have free access to a high-tech flash glucose monitoring system.

The Federal Government’s $300 million Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Initiative will give patients access to the FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring device - which measures glucose levels without the use of lancets, test strips and blood.

A sensor worn on the back of the arm connects to a reader or mobile phone application, which in turn stores glucose levels day and night to help people manage their diabetes, and avoid dangerous hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia.

The Government also says it is streamlining eligibility criteria to increase the number of Australians who can access fully subsidised glucose monitoring devices through the CGM scheme to 58,000 people, up from 37,000.

Under the scheme, from 1 March 2020, the Government will provide fully subsidised CGM products to a wider range of Australians, including:

  • Children and young people, under 21 years of age, with type 1 diabetes
  • Children and young people with conditions very similar to type 1 diabetes, such as cystic fibrosis-related diabetes and neonatal diabetes, who require insulin
  • Women with type 1 diabetes who are planning for pregnancy, pregnant, or immediately post-pregnancy
  • People with type 1 diabetes aged 21 years or older and who have concessional status

Without a subsidy, these patients would pay over $2,400 per year for the system.