Sign here… | Diabetogenic

‘Why would you bet against the type 1 community?’ That was a question asked in a session at the ISPAD conference a couple years ago. It wasn’t someone with T1D drawing attention to the community. Instead, it was said by someone working in global health who had seen the remarkable efforts such as the #WeAreNotWaiting movement and grassroots, peer-led education initiatives in low-income countries.  These efforts have driven change and improved lives of people with diabetes. They have been led by those with lived experience and supported by other diabetes stakeholders. But the starting point is people directly affected by diabetes identifying a problem, solving it and leading the way. In the history of diabetes – from the first home glucose meters, to building systems leveraging off existing technologies, to global advocacy movements – community powered initiatives have been a driving force for change. 

And so, here we are today, coming together once again to advocate for better equity and fairness for all people with type 1 diabetes, this time in Australia, and this time advancing access to automated insulin delivery devices (AID). 

Insulin pump funding is broken. AID is standard care and yet far too many people are left unable to use the tech because of how pumps are funded in Australia. Right now, unless a person with T1D has the right level of private health insurance, or meets the criteria for the Insulin Pump Program, they must find the funding for an insulin pump. That needs to change. 

We know how to do this in Australia. The reason that pump consumables are on the NDSS is thanks to community advocacy efforts back in the early 2000. And more recently massive community noise helped to get CGM onto the NDSS for all Australians. Of course, these wins worked because everyone was involved in advocacy: people with lived experience of diabetes, healthcare professionals and HCP professional groups, researchers, diabetes community groups and organisations and industry. What a lot of noise we can make when we’re singing from the same song sheet! 

Right now, attentions are razor focused on improving access to automated insulin delivery systems because the evidence is clear: AID reduces diabetes distress, improves quality of life, and (for those who like numbers!), help with glucose levels. And as an added bonus for the bean counters – it’s a smart, cost-effective investment for our health system. 

If AID is standard care, financial barriers preventing people from accessing it need to be eliminated. 

And that’s where we would love your help. 

Please sign and share the petition that has been started by Dr Ben Nash and supported by a group of people with T1D (including me). Petitions are a great way to get people talking and interested in a topic. It builds momentum and helps contribute to whole of community conversations. While we know the T1D community is already on board, we’ve now seen a number of HCPs, community groups and diabetes organisations share and promote the petition and are keen to get involved with broader advocacy efforts. That’s pretty cool!

Click to sign.


Understandably, there are questions about why this work is specific to T1D technology access. That’s a fair question and I think that our very own Bionic Wookiee provided an excellent explanation of that when he said this in a social media post earlier this week:

AID systems were developed for T1D (where they can track all the insulin going into the system without having to cope with the body’s variable insulin generation). So right now they mainly apply to T1D…

Expanding CGM and pump access to people with other forms of diabetes than just T1D is important for the future. Having wider access to AID for the T1D population will be a beach-head for that.

And in a conversation I had about this with UK diabetologist Partha Kar yesterday he cautions that there needs to be a starting point because the sheer numbers of diabetes can be daunting and tend to scare policy makers. He also points out that when it comes to outcome modifying interventions, technology is THE thing in T1D, whereas in other types of diabetes there are other options. I’ll add that those other options often have stronger evidence which is why they already have funding. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Hot Topics

Related Articles