In February 2020, Diabetes Ireland responded to a review of the HSE’s Medicines Management Programme (MMP) into defining a preferred glucose strip for home blood glucose testing. The Medicines Management Programme which aims to promote safe, effective and cost effective prescribing on behalf of the HSE had indicated its view that it was in the process of defining a single preferred glucose strip for home blood glucose testing for all people with diabetes.
Alarmed by the potential impact of this on our diabetes community, the board of Diabetes Ireland sought the views of our Advocacy Group and it was agreed that this was not acceptable. On behalf of Diabetes Ireland, a submission from chairperson Professor Hilary Hoey was sent to the MMP stating that Diabetes Ireland was not in favour of having one single preferred blood glucose strip for all as it would have a detrimental effect on the maintenance of good diabetes management and that for effective long term management both clinician and a person with diabetes should be able to access the most suitable blood glucose meter on the market for them in a joint decision making process. Diabetes Ireland also highlighted that this would allow sufficient choice, flexibility, visibility, dexterity, and other enhanced features to be considered in the decision-making process between the clinician and individual.
The MMP has just published its guidelines and Diabetes Ireland is delighted to see that its view was accepted and there continues to be choice of blood glucose strip for everyone. Although, the MMP has proposed a preferred list of blood glucose strips, it has still allowed access for people to continue using their current blood glucose strip and only change if they wish to, in consultation with their clinician. However, for those newly diagnosed who require a blood glucose meter, clinicians are being asked to work with individuals to select from the preferred list but retain the ability to prescribe from outside of the preferred list based on clinical need. This will help to make significant costs savings for the HSE.
Diabetes Ireland understands that producing these guidelines has already resulted in cost savings for the HSE with companies reducing their strip costs in line with the MMP recommendations.
It is the hope Diabetes Ireland that those savings will be reinvested into the further development of diabetes services and new diabetes technologies, including access to the Freestyle Libre for all adults based on clinical need.
For more information to assist you and your diabetes team to ensure you are using the most appropriate meter to meet your needs see https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/cspd/ncps/medicines-management/blood-glucose-test-strips/preferred-blood-glucose-test-strips-poster.pdf
If you are using a meter currently not on this list, there is no need to take any action unless your meter is more than 2 years old as the report now advises meters should be changed every 2 years. To read the full report see https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/cspd/ncps/medicines-management/blood-glucose-test-strips/preferred-blood-glucose-test-strips-with-associated-meter-s-evaluation-report.pdf
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