Relief as fast-acting insulin added to PBS

In some great news for type 1 diabetics, a new form of fast-acting insulin will be added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 October.

Federal health and aged care minister Mark Butler says the listing of the Fiasp Penfill fast-acting insulin product will be welcome news for more than 15,000 Australians.

The Fiasp and Fiasp FlexTouch fast-acting insulin products were removed from the PBS earlier this year by the manufacturer, pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk. That left thousands of Australians suffering from type 1 diabetes scrambling to find a replacement product.

This addition comes after six months of negotiations between the government and Novo Nordisk.

“Australians with type 1 diabetes can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they will continue to have affordable access to fast-acting insulin,” Mr Butler says.

“The Albanese government has worked hard to secure an ongoing solution to the commercial decision to delist the original products. 

“We understand how important it is for people with type 1 diabetes to have access to a stable supply of products and medications to manage their illness. 

“The PBS is a vital lifeline to affordable medicines for millions. We’ll continue to ensure it meets the needs of all Australians.”

The government was supported during negotiations by several advocacy groups including Diabetes Australia, the Australian Diabetes Society and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association.

Diabetes Australia says type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the body’s own immune system is activated to destroy the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.

“We do not know what causes this autoimmune reaction, however environmental factors are thought to set off the process,” it says. “Type 1 diabetes is not linked to modifiable lifestyle factors. Currently there is no cure and it is lifelong.”

Diabetes Australia CEO Justine Cain has applauded the government’s success.

“Minister Butler has demonstrated that the Albanese government understands how important it is to give people living with diabetes access to the affordable medicines and technologies they need to manage the condition.

“Diabetes is a demanding and complicated condition that needs constant monitoring.  

“Australians living with diabetes need access to the best available insulins and medicines, at affordable prices, to have their best quality of life and reduce the impact of diabetes-related complications.”

Representatives from Novo Nordisk also said they were pleased they were able to find a way to keep supplying insulin to their Australian customers.

“This is great news for Australians living with diabetes,” says Cem Ozenc, vice-president and general manager of Novo Nordisk Oceania.

“Novo Nordisk heard loud and clear the impact to the 15,000 Australians living with diabetes who depended on Fiasp, if Fiasp was no longer available on the PBS. 

“We are pleased that patients can continue accessing this treatment on the PBS. 

“Novo Nordisk looks forward to continuing a positive, solutions-focused working relationship with the Department of Health and the federal minister for health and aged care for our future medicines portfolio.”

Does diabetes affect you or someone you know? Do you use any Fiasp insulin products? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Can you reverse prediabetes?

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyer
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


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