COVID-19: Insulin pump consumables
Insulin pumps are specialised medical devices that deliver a continuous supply of insulin under the skin.
Page updated: 27 March 2020
These devices are used by some people with type 1 diabetes and other related conditions. There are a number of consumables that are needed to operate these devices. Consumables include things such as infusion sets and insulin cartridges.
To ease the burden on the health sector we are making some changes to the renewal criteria for these consumables.
These changes will come into effect on 1 April 2020.
Special Authority renewal for consumables
During the COVID-19 response, any relevant practitioner can apply for a Special Authority renewal for insulin pump consumables.
Initial Special Authority applications still require a relevant specialist or nurse practitioner.
HbA1c level testing
We anticipate laboratory testing for HbA1c levels may be challenging at this time. Because HbA1c testing most commonly happens at regular intervals, we consider that most patients should have a reasonably recent historic value.
Practitioners can use the most recent test result to help make decisions when renewing a Special Authority.
The renewal application Special Authority form will be amended as follows:
- The patient is continuing to derive benefit according to the treatment plan and has maintained a HbA1c of equal to or less than 80 mmol/mol according to a recent laboratory result; and
- The patient’s HbA1c has not deteriorated more than 5 mmol/mol from initial application, according to the most recent result;
If the patient's most recent HbA1c result does not meet the requirements of the Special Authority renewal criteria, but in the treating practitioner's opinion a current HbA1c would likely meet the requirements, then follow the Special Authority waiver process.
PHARMAC may make further changes to this arrangement as New Zealand's response to COVID-19 evolves.
No change to insulin pump prescriber types
Insulin pumps are specialised devices used to administer insulin via continuous subcutaneous infusion. People need individual training on any new device.
As such, we consider that a relevant specialist or nurse practitioner needs to be involved when initiating treatment with any new insulin pump prescription.
Any requests about changing prescriber types will be handled through PHARMAC's standard Special Authority waiver process.
Who to contact
If you have questions about this change, email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need to submit a Special Authority waiver, email email@example.com
Last updated: 15 April 2020