Affordable access to the life-changing insulin Fiasp is set to be ripped away from more than 15,000 Australians with diabetes on 1 October 2023.
This follows the Albanese Labor Government’s decision to schedule this innovative drug for removal from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in March, without any consultation or warning for the Type 1 diabetes community.
Following significant advocacy from the sector, patients and the Coalition, the Minister was forced into providing a temporary 6-month extension to keep Fiasp on the PBS, which ends in a few weeks’ time.
As the end date to the extension looms over the diabetes community, the Minister for Health Mark Butler has been completely silent on whether users will still have affordable access to Fiasp from 1 October 2023.
This is creating an unacceptable level of uncertainty for 15,000 Australians and their families who rely on this fast-acting form of insulin that is literally life-changing.
This did not need to happen in the first place. The Minister has still not explained why he decided not to use his ministerial discretion to ensure Fiasp can remain permanently on the PBS, rather than pursing a band-aid response with this temporary extension.
He has even attempted to mislead the diabetes community by falsely indicating that the manufacturer was not willing to come to the table on a solution and that the Minister has no legal power to intervene.
The Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care, Anne Ruston said that the Coalition understands how the fast-acting nature of Fiasp is life-changing for users compared to other available forms of insulin.
“I have heard from parents across the country who have told me how the fast-acting nature of Fiasp has changed the lives of their children. It has brought spontaneity back into their daily life and let them participate in sports and other activities in the same way as their peers.”
“The Minister must provide immediate certainty to the Type 1 diabetes community about the ongoing availability of this critical drug on the PBS and whether he has pursued a permanent solution.”
“It is unconscionable that Minister Butler continues to leave 15,000 families in the dark and has shirked any responsibility for the way this issue has been handled,” Senator Ruston said.