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Lancing & Lancets

I recently asked a number of questions by John about lancets. John wanted to know, “Why are Lancets not subsidised by th...

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Lancing & Lancets

 by angela blair rn cde on 30 Aug 2017 |
7 Comment(s)
I recently asked a number of questions by John about lancets. John wanted to know, “Why are Lancets not subsidised by the Government? Since the manufacturer’s instructions recommend that, you only each use a lancet once.” John noted, that this adds even further cost to managing his diabetes. John also had some further questions about the Accu-Chek Fastclix, wanting to know, “Can the …six lancets be taken out, when all six have been used…and then put in again”, to be used a further six times?
 
All manufacturers recommend that lancets only be used a single time, but this can be costly especially when testing more than once a day. Most diabetes educators will advise that a lancet can be used no more than 4 to 6 times, knowing that people often use them many more times. The problem with using a lancet too many times is that they become blunt with use and rather than prick the skin of the fingertip, as they become blunt the lancet starts to cut or tear through the skin, increasing the risk of scars or callouses. This often leads to less blood from the finger prick being available to test. A number people then increase the depth of the lancing device to compensate for the lack of blood produced, changing to a newer sharper lancet could be just as effective and less painful.

For the Accu-chek lancing devices, such as the FastClix and older Multi-Clix, that use a drum with 6 lancets, they cannot be reused once taken out of the device. But the lancets can be reused if the drum containing the lancets is not removed from the lancing device.

Diabetes NSW & ACT have been active supporters of lancets becoming subsidised and continue to do so. If you want to be involved, I would suggest contacting your local Member of Parliament, as the NDSS is administered by the Commonwealth Government, speaking up does make a difference.​

 
About the Author
Angela Blair
I am a credentialled diabetes educator through the Australian Diabetes Educators Association and have worked in diabetes care and management since 1979 in a number of clinical and management roles.

My professional qualifications are NSW registered nurse/midwife with a Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Newcastle (1993), and a Masters in Applied Management (Health) through the University of Newcastle.

Comment(s)7

John Goodshaw - Comment
John Goodshaw31 Aug 2017Reply
I am 74 and i have paid tax from 1958 till the present time and i worked seven days a week and saved my money now the government tells me i have to mush money so there is no pension the way things are going at the present interest rate we will broke in short time at lest the government
could help with the cost of strips and lancets
Barry Jude Martin  - Comment
Barry Jude Martin 31 Aug 2017Reply
To all, thanks for the kind thoughts.
Sue - Comment
Sue01 Sep 2017Reply
I asked the pharmacist about the non subsidising of the lancets and they said , of course, they did not know why. BUT when I said well I will just have to use the lancets for longer he said that was not a good idea as they can degrade over time and leave microscopic bits of the needle in your finger. Would you like to comment on that? Between a rock and hard place - bits of steel in finger or spending $ I dont have.
Judith - Comment
Judith04 Sep 2017Reply
When I was diagnosed with Diabetes I had no option but go onto insulin injection. Then we had to pay for our needles as well as everything else.
ACT bought in free needles for Drug Addicts and you can just imagine the hue & cry that went out to say that addicts got their needles free but Diabetics had to pay for them. It took a while before the needles became free. So don't hold your breath.
Judy - Comment
Judy05 Sep 2017Reply
Why is it those who are addicted to illegal drugs have access to free needles while diabetics are required to pay. Being a pensioner on a limited budget I find this far too costly.
Janice Mitchell - Comment
Janice Mitchell02 Oct 2017Reply
I find it very hard managing on a single pension therefore I us the needles for two days at least two days. I know the risks but have no choice. I appreciate the way diabetes NSW look after us.
Julie Allan - Comment
Julie Allan07 Oct 2017Reply
Testing one's blood is the main requirement to optimise good blood sugar control. Obviously the committee, selection board or red tape official who will not okay the subsidising of lancets and needles is not a diabetes sufferer. I am now waiting for this same group of people to okay the subsidising cost of the newest device the FreeStyle Libre Sensor. It's all very well for manufacturers like Abbott Diabetes Care to invent a machine that does not require finger pricks but WHO CAN AFFORD it at a cost of $92 per fortnight? I have been a type 1 Diabetic for 55 years and calculate I have given myself over 70,000 injections - and finger pricks. Surely people/pensioners like me should be able to use this device without the worry of the cost?

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