Australians rush to CGM but long shadow of the 'tender' still looms over providers

Latest News

Over 25,000 people with Type 1 diabetes took advantage of expanded access arrangements for continuous glucose monitoring products in the program's first six months, but uncertainty remains over the proposed 'tender'.

The Albanese government expanded access to the products to all Australians with Type 1 diabetes from 1 July last year. Implementing the pre-election commitment was expected to cost $273.1 million over four years.

CGM products from three companies are currently funded - Dexcom, Abbott and Medtronic.

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, "25,094 people were approved to access the expanded Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) program from 1 July 2022 to 31 December 2022.

"All of the 25,094 people who joined the scheme under the new eligibility cohort were able to access product from the time their application was approved.

"At 31 December 2022, 23,675 people approved to access the expanded CGM program had ordered CGM products from a community pharmacy. 975 people were approved to access CGM in December 2022 and those people receiving a Starter Pack (consisting of a transmitter and one month supply of sensors) would not need to order products from a community pharmacy until January 2023."

The product providers and the wider health technology sector were recently shocked to see the initiation of a tender for the products that have been funded for barely six months.

On the AusTender website, the Department of Health and Aged Care announced its intention to launch 'approach to market' processes for insulin pumps, consumables supplied through the National Diabetes Services Scheme and CGM products.

Since the announcement of the approach to market, which was made without consultation, the impacted companies have been scrambling to obtain more information on the planned tender, including any insight on the policy and financial intent.