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The cost of type 1 diabetes

Latest research from JDRF has revealed the huge financial burden of living with type 1 diabetes that is impacting diabetes management and mental health. The out-of-pocket expenses to cover health insurance, medical appointments and monitoring equipment for people living with type 1 comes to an astounding $4,777 a year on average.

A staggering number of Aussie adults with type 1 diabetes are unable to access life-changing technology due to the high cost, the study reveals. It’s even tougher for the 1 in 10 Aussies living with type 1 diabetes on a low-income scraping by on less than $40,000 a year.

Three-quarters (71%) of Australians with type 1 say the main reason they don’t own a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is because of the high financial cost, with CGMs costing thousands of dollars every year on top of our other expenses.

“Right now in Australia, the cost of living with diabetes is prohibitive and our subsidy system is inequitable,” Type 1 Diabetes Family Centre CEO Bec Johnson explained.

“People of all ages need affordable access to this life-saving technology.”

Almost 9 in 10 (87%) Aussies with type 1 reveal their condition negatively impacts their quality life. The financial burden of managing type 1 diabetes is exacerbating mental health issues, with half of those living with type 1 diabetes reporting feelings of depression. The cost of diabetes also leads to poorer management which puts people with type 1 at higher risk of complications.

“It’s time for universal, affordable access to diabetes technology, which we know creates life-changing improvements to health, mental health and quality of life,” Bec said.

“Under our current system, young adults with type 1 lose subsidised access to lifesaving continuous glucose monitors on their 21st birthday. After that, it’s on them to pay thousands for the expensive technology they need,” Bec explained.

“Funding access to diabetes technology will not only transform the lives of Australians living with type 1 diabetes, it is a visionary move that will create massive savings for our health system, now and into the future.”

JDRF Chief Executive Officer Mike Wilson OAM reiterated the point that “everyone living with T1D should have access to a basic standard of care”.

“We want to make certain that those who have access don’t lose it, those who need it can get it, and everyone can choose what is best for them from the available options,” he said in the report.

How can we make CGMs more affordable and accessible for people with type 1? The best way is to contact the Government directly by writing to your Federal MP, Health Minister Greg Hunt. You can tell Minister Hunt every Australian with T1D deserves lifesaving continuous glucose monitoring in petitions like this or send an email or letter directly. Your voice makes an impact!

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