Hiccups with NDSS supply of pump consumables – July 2019

A heads-up for anyone still ordering “Animas” consumables. According to AMSL they will be withdrawn from the Australian market after September 30. They’re supposed to be fully available up until that point, but already there are supply hiccups.

In June I wrote about “Accessing supplies through pharmacies” following hassles tracking down Fiasp insulin as well as previous experience with unreliable NDSS supplies. Incidentally, at the 1st of July 2019 a bunch of pharmacy chains changed which wholesale suppliers they use, so remember to check with your particular pharmacy.

Soon after that I had dramas getting a box of Animas Inset 30 infusion sets. In the end I had to use a pharmacy that uses Symbion as their wholesaler (after delivering expired stock both API and Sigma told the pharmacies they simply didn’t have new stock and had no plans to get more). It did take Symbion a few days to get them in.

This week’s drama

I use a variety of infusion sets, but with all of them at the moment I’m preferring ones with 110cm tubing. Just this week I tried to place an order of a box of Animas Comfort Short infusion sets (which are the same thing as the 13mm Accu-Chek TenderLink and Medtronic Silhouette but those do not have a 110cm tubing option).

I went to my Symbion-linked pharmacy by default, but Symbion bounced the order back saying…. they didn’t have any and didn’t have any plans to re-stock!

In the end we found that Sigma did have stock of this item, and my order through a different pharmacy was filled within a day.

It’s fairly obvious that the wholesalers are not wanting to stock up on supplies which will be discontinued at the start of October. Seems a little extreme though, as AMSL won’t end up leaving the stock on the wholesalers’ shelves.

What can we do?

As well as with the Animas Vibe pump, the Animas infusion sets work well with non-Animas pumps such as the  Tandem (with the “720” luer-lock cartridge) and the Accu-Chek Combo.

The take-away from this story is that if you’re using the Animas infusion sets then by now you should be doing some or all of:

  • Consider which alternate infusion sets you can use. My 2018 article on infusion sets is still relevant.
  • Don’t leave your ordering of Animas supplies to the last days!
  • Expect hiccups in supply. Be prepared to ask around other pharmacies. But don’t take “no” for a final answer if the item you want is still listed on the current NDSS IPC list.
  • If everyone is still saying “no”, contact AMSL (the distributor) and ask them for advice.

Incidentally, one box of the Animas Comfort sets will last me more than 2 months, as I only use new tubing with each new reservoir. I do replace the cannula every 3 days: the Accu-Chek TenderLink is available through NDSS in cannula-only form (no tubing) for a little less money than a box of sets with tubing, and I mix these with the Comfort tubing.

NDSS flaw

The deeper issue of NDSS suppliers arbitrarily choosing not to stock some NDSS items (leaving us as consumers to have to micro-manage and juggle suppliers to meet our needs for life-sustaining medical supplies) has been around for a while.

I’ve experienced similar issues for several years. This is just the latest example.

4 thoughts on “Hiccups with NDSS supply of pump consumables – July 2019”

  1. Natalie Wyeth

    Hi There,
    Medtronic do have Luer lock infusion sets available. There is a 110cm silhouette Luer Lock infusion set – NDSS CODE 582.
    Hope this helps.

    1. Unfortunately that particular version has a 17mm cannula. I don’t use cannulae that long.

      The only 13mm Medtronic Silhouette available through NDSS with 110cm tubing is a “Paradigm” version that doesn’t have a luer-lock connection.

  2. Andrew Bassett-Smith

    Also critical, for ALL pump supplies – triple check the items before going to the counter and handing over the payment

    Many will not take back stuff you’ve bought that is not what you wanted

    I ordered some 110cm Contact Detach sets a few days ago via MedAdvisor app, so the NDSS codes are displayed on the screen to the chemist

    My wife rings me from the chemist (Skype actually so I could see) – and they had both Animas Reservoirs and Contact Detach sets – I asked them to check the size – 60cm – said to not take them. Fortunately whilst their they realised it was actually for someone else who ordered both items … mine will be in on Monday or Tuesday – took a bit longer than expected but the chemist has (hopefully) ordered the right thing – they just advised the wrong person their stuff was in

    My order is for 5 boxes and have a couple here as it is, I’ve got about 5 boxes of 720 here – but going cartridges last 5 days, sets are changed every 3. I better start stockpiling sufficient tubing to use

    1. I’ve had the same thing at my pharmacy ABS where they have tried to give me someone else’s order. NDSS ordering has go to hell since it was handed over to pharmacies.

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