What great news for Aussies with diabetes yesterday with the announcement that Fiasp will remain on the PBS! Such an excellent way to start the week. The media release from the Department yesterday referred to a ‘new form of fast acting insulin’, but that’s really not correct. It’s still Fiasp!
The bottom line: if you’ve been using Fiasp, you can continue to do so after 1 October via the PBS. The difference is how it is being packaged up. (Think of it like when you go to your local Woolies where you can buy the same brand of juice in small and large bottles, glass, and plastic bottles etc. Different vessel; same product inside.) It’s exactly the same drug, but now, it will be available only in Penfills. Up until now we have been able to purchase Fiasp in vials or FlexTouch disposable pens. Those options will not be available any longer.
This is not new. Twenty-five years ago when I as diagnosed with diabetes, this was the only option I knew! I was given two rather swish looking matt silver pens in grey boxes that housed the pen and three pen tips. I then picked up 5 boxes of insulin and inside each box there were 5 cartridges and those cartridges popped directly into the silver pen.
That’s how Fiasp will be available from the pharmacy now. If you use injections, the Penfills fit directly into a reusable NovoPens (for those using injections); if you’ve been using vials to fill pump cartridges, it’s still possible (and easy enough) to do so from Penfills.
It’s annoying when the language and words used to describe different diabetes products gets messed up, because it causes unnecessary confusion. And there was some confusion yesterday about what this ‘new form’ of insulin meant. This is why having people with diabetes involved in messaging is so important – we get the language, the jargon and the words right!
In case you missed it, here’s the JDRF Australia announcement which very clearly outlines exactly what this is about, using accurate language. (Disclosure: I work for JDRF International, not the Australian affiliate. Sharing this from yesterday because the comms from the organisation across all socials were super informative and used all the right language.)
And of course, the Bionic Wookiee was on top of it with this great blog post which outlines what it all means – also super clearly.
So, it’s good news really for the community, really. And an example of a united community response I’ll be pointing to for some time! Great work, OzDOC!