Getting the New Technology & Treatments for Diabetes.

So you’ve heard about the benefits of the insulin pump and continuous glucose monitors and sensors. And you’re thinking “I might just get my diabetes under control if I have one of those”

How do I get one? Well the answer is that it’s not as easy as just deciding to get one.

In Ireland, people with diabetes get all of their medicines and medical supplies, relating to diabetes for free on the Long Term Illness Scheme, which is fantastic! However, when a new treatment comes on the market such as the insulin pump which costs €5,000 and then about €100 plus per month for the supplies, not to mention what it costs to have specially trained medical staff on call 24/7 to support the pump user, the people who foot the bill start to ask questions. Understandable!

So, the most common replies to questions about the pump are that there are problems with funding the staff needed to provide pump support. (I might add here that the suppliers of the pump actually provide the patient training.) Then, you will be told that the HSE won’t approve the funding for the pump.

It is a very savvy customer/patient who will pursue this quest after that.

So what happens if you want something like a glucose sensor? And your medical team just won’t discuss it with you. The supplier, obviously, wants to give it to you; you’ve done your research and decided that you want it. Surely, there is a way that you can overcome these problems.

Maybe it’s time for the Health Insurance companies to join this debate. Maybe in order for them to prevent us from claiming huge medical bills for kidney disease, limb amputation, hearts bypass surgeries, etc., they should be working with Roche, Abbott, Animas, Medtronic, etc. and helping people with diabetes manage our disease better?