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PBS Review of Blood Glucose Test Strips

14 November 2012

It is appropriate to reconsider the role of SMBG in the management of type 2 diabetes. In Australia, we are uniquely supported by the NDSS, which allows provision of glucose testing strips that up to now have assisted the implementation of SMBG as outlined in clinical practice guidelines. If the evidence is accepted that people not on insulin may be recommended not to routinely test because of a failure of adequate outcome data and because SMBG has not been shown to reduce the general risk of hypoglycaemia, then clearly a need arises for:

  • Expanded education programs on changing treatment algorithms to accommodate these evidence based changes.
  • Clinical access should continue for SMBG testing, where clinically appropriate (in non-insulin requiring type 2 diabetes), possibly through the current PBS script provisions. This would allow for general practice management of those patients with type 2 diabetes in the detection of unrecognised hypoglycaemic events, and the management of severe hypoglycaemia in small, but significant numbers of patients NOT using insulin – particularly with suphonylurea agents as outlined.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

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