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RE: [IPu] PDC (Prostheses and Devices Committee) Reviewing Insulin Pumps and Consumables

Hi Henry and All,

The PDC is a specialist medical subcommittee in the Australia Health Dept
that recommends to Govt. items listed as approved Prosthetic devices.  The
PDC has advised in recent weeks that they have listed a "Temporary notation"
(review) for Insulin Pumps and Consumables to be determined at their Feb
2009 meeting.  This means that the PDC are reviewing whether they believe
that Pumps / consumables fit the criteria of a "prosthetic device".  Insulin
Pumps are funded via Private Health Funds because they are listed as a
Prosthetic device.

The Federal Health Minister (Nicola Roxon) can then accept; vary or reject
the PDC's recommendations.

It seems that the PDC are reviewing Insulin Pumps / consumables because they
are not "surgically" implanted and infusion sites are regularly moved.  They
are suggesting that on this basis they are temporary, not permanent
surgically implanted prosthetic devices.  Insulin Pumps appear to meet other
listed criteria for a Prosthetic device.

This reasoning, despite the fact that permanent surgically implanted Insulin
Pumps are not sold.  Consumables are moved around the body specifically
because the human hormone (Insulin) the Pump infuses saturates the
subcutaneous body layer.

It seems to me in relation to Prosthetic Device criteria, an Insulin Pump
"looks like a duck"; "quacks like a duck" ... so it must be a duck !!

So between now and Feb 2009 it is up to us / our support groups / the
medical community and the Pump companies to convince the Minister for Health
(Nicola Roxon) or your Federal MP that Insulin Pumps should remain on the

I have copies of the relevant Health PDC Bulletins (Bulletin No 24 and
Bulletin 19 + attachments) if you would like copies.  Because the IP mailing
system will strip attachments, I will need to send them to individual email
addresses for those interested.

Warm Regards,


PS.  Henry, over the last few days I have confirmed the detail above by
email and / or discussion with an Endo; Diabetes Australia Educator; and
senior staff at Animas; Cozmo; Medtronic and Roche in Australia.  All are
concerned about this development and are making their views known to Govt.
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