Monday, 11 September 2023
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
Recently I held an afternoon tea in my Penrith electorate office to talk to local families who have a family member with type 1 diabetes. The Mayo Clinic says: 'Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition.' We know this is when the pancreas stops producing insulin so the person has to be reliant on insulin for the rest of their life.
Almost a year ago, my oldest son, Byron, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after suffering from COVID. As the deputy chair of the House's Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport, we recently had an inquiry into long COVID. Throughout the cycle of the inquiry and afterwards, emerging data was presented demonstrating the rapid rise of type 1 diabetes, specifically in those who recently acquired COVID-19. There has been research that taken place around the world, and this is showing a huge spike in type 1 globally.
I want to thank the work of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for their incredible advocacy in this space. The majority of families who attended the afternoon tea at my office were connected with JDRF and were keen to share their stories and how different medical devices are now assisting people to live pretty much normal lives.
We also spoke about a Fiasp, which is a fast-acting insulin that the Albanese Labor government is about to boot off the PBS. I have been running a campaign to save Fiasp, because there are around 15,000 families across Australia who rely on it. It's actually a life-saving insulin. Kids, who may have not been able to play sport because they couldn't control their blood sugar levels, can take Fiasp as it acts really fast, and then they can get back out on the field or doing whatever they love. They can be pretty much like a normal kid. So it is extraordinary that the Labor government is not trying to find an urgent solution to this problem that is impacting the lives of kids and adults with type 1 across Australia. It is extraordinary that they are going backwards when it comes to type 1 diabetes management and will force those who cannot afford Fiasp without PBS support to have to look for another insulin product.
For my type 1 diabetes family to those in Lindsay and right across the country, I will keep up the fight for Fiasp, because we can't go backwards. We have to support our young people in particular who do have type 1 diabetes to make it affordable and accessible to all.