Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pump application....

... Approved!

I have just received my letters from Pharmac saying my application for Special Authority for an insulin pump and consumables has been approved.

Now I need to talk with my doctor about choosing a pump (although I'm pretty sure of which one I want, as there is a choice between the Vibe and Medtronic) and doing pump training. He will also write me the prescription for the actual hardware which I have 3 months to get filled.

The application for the consumables will have to be reassessed in 9 months: if the pump is not doing good things for me by then, the consumables-funding may be withdrawn.

So, exciting times. I am about to join the cyborg club.

Also I'm really interested in getting a CGM (self funded) and if I choose the vibe then the dexcom system works with that. Can't wait to try that out.

At the same time that Pharmac took over funding the pumps in New Zealand, they also chose to change (ruin?) the funding for blood glucose meters.

New Zealand diabetics now only have 3 of the Caresens brand meters to choose from. 3 meters across the whole country! Anyway my Caresens N-Pop has been inconsistently missing hypos and giving me erratic readings.

I have been to visit the local opposition MP just yesterday and he suggested raising the issue of the poor-quality Caresens meters to the Health Select Committee.

We'll see. I don't expect anything dramatic to happen in a hurry, but all Pharmac needs to do to resolve the situation is to allow all Type 1 and insulin-dependent diabetics access to other meters via Special Authority. They are already doing this for some diabetics which is not fair as it creates a dual standard of care.
I know that in the US (and UK?) there is a campaign called Strip Safely aimed at bringing awareness to the issue of inaccurate test strips.

The ISO standards committee has just released a new standard for accuracy too, lowering the tolerance from 20% +/- down to 15% +/-. It would be excellent to get test strips more accurate, as an insulin pump in not going to work to full effect with just estimations of my blood sugar.

Anyway that's all for now. Oh wait! No its not! We've got an appointment for our "Pre-IVF" meeting back up in Hamildog. I suspect it won't be that much different to the previous 2 meetings, so I'm going to call the clinic and find out what it's about before booking travel and accommodation. I mean, it might be something we can do via Skype instead and save about $400!


  1. Great news!!! I hope this makes things a lot easier for you!

  2. Hi!

    Hope you don't mind me stopping by and having a look at your blog, I found it while googling "Insulin Pump, New Zealand and Blog." My Nurse Educator has put in an application to Pharmac for funding for a blog so I'm keen to do some research! How did you find the whole application process?

  3. Hi S, the insulin pump application process has been pretty smooth for me so far. As soon as I decided I wanted to go on a pump I made an appointment to see my doc and from there he got the application letter ready and sent. I went to that appointment with a whole bunch of supporting data (my HbA1c, recent blood glucose logs, details of nighttime hypos etc) that could support my application. You can find details about what things make you eligible for a pump on Pharmacs website (search for insulin pump, then look for the Special Authority PDF). Now that my application has been approved it's just a case of getting the prescription written for the pump itself, and of course, choosing one! Good luck with your application. If you want to email me to chat more about this= thekaitakeblog [at] gmail [dot] com