A reprieve for Fiasp

The sudden removal of the fast-acting Fiasp insulin from Australia’s PBS subsidy system has been a source of major heartache amongst the diabetes community. But we had a glimmer of hope this morning.
The Federal Health Minister (Mark Butler MP) has announced that instead of Fiasp being summarily deleted from PBS, it’s going into “Supply Only” state for 6 months. We haven’t yer seen an official statement from PBS, but fingers are crossed. That should hopefully happen within days.

This means that as long as you have a prescription that was written before the 1st of April 2023 (note they’re only valid for 12 months) then you will be able to fill it at the usual PBS pricing until the end of September 2023.

Community reaction

The fast mobilisation of voices in the diabetes community has been inspiring. The Change.org petition I linked to previously now has over 38,000 signatures on it. We’ve had loud media coverage, official questions asked by members in Federal Parliament, and more. It’s been great to see people speaking up about their outrage. It was also good to see some of the diabetes organisations speaking up!

Now what?

The problem isn’t solved: this is just a reprieve.
But it’s hopefully giving PBS and Novo some time to renegotiate their positions regarding having Fiasp subsidised. We will be watching as closely as we can.

The apparent lack of consultation with the people who matter (us the people who rely on Fiasp as one of the tools to keep themselves healthy) in the initial PBS action was shameful. Hopefully this can be avoided in the future.

And if Lilly manage to get their Lyumjev fast-acting insulin registered in Australia (it’s already approved in Europe, the US, and Canada just as a start) and apply for PBS listing, that will give us more options. And give Novo some competition. I’ve been writing about my experiences with Lyumjev (obtained overseas) for some time.

Lack of information?

Of course, some people are still only now hearing about the Fiasp situation. And reporting that some of their doctors don’t even seem aware of it yet.
While I believe that Automated Insulin Delivery (AID) systems are where these faster insulins can be made best use of, I also hear from people who have found it’s helped their management using older setups such as MDI.

I heard today from some people saying that their doctor hadn’t ever told them that Fiasp might be an option for them. Finding out about an option for life improvement at the same time as hearing that it’s being taken away can’t be a good way to start your day. Hopefully we can all improve the knowledge and communication around tools like this.

8 thoughts on “A reprieve for Fiasp”

  1. David Thanks for pushing in yr usual considered way.
    Worth noting that there was also behind the scenes influencing at a high level by D organisations whose ability to publicly criticise Govt is limited by legislation. I’m glad you prodded so effectively however!

  2. Janet Macdonald

    Thank you David for your information. Fiasp has never been suggested to me. I now wonder if it could help me. Australia great for overall health care but I hate that it takes years and sometimes never for us to get access to many great products that are available in U.S. & U.K. I really want Libre 3 & looks like that will take a while to get to Australia.

    1. I’m curious why you’re so interested in Libre 3?
      According to their own data it’s the same accuracy/precision as Libre 2, so the differences seem to be that it’s smaller and they support sending the data via Bluetooth to phones/etc?
      I’ve used Libre 2 with the data coming via Bluetooth (i.e. not needing to scan) using Diabox, and I believe Juggluco is another option.

      1. – No compression lows where you have to make sure that you don’t sleep on a particular arm.
        – 14 day life v Dexcom G7 10 day life. (Although would also appreciate Dexcom G7 option in Australia.)
        – Prefer to rely on an officially maintained app to get data as then there is less concern about standards being met (i.e., are they apply six-sigma in all aspects of a product/service).

        1. Interesting points. However:

          • It wasn’t apparent that Janet was saying she wanted Libre 3 instead of anything in particular (and Libre 2 is the obvious comparator in the Australian market).
          • No compression lows? That’s a big claim.
  3. Just wanted to say that most of the Diabetes Organisations delivered the good news about Fiasp staying for 6 more months on PBS omitting the part that you need to have a script dated before 1 April. I saw many people commenting that they assumed it is back to normal but it’s not the case. I think those Diabetes Organisations wanted to look better in our eyes but in fact they should of emphasised this part: get the new script for Fiasp ASAP.

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