NDSS Debacle

Late last week, I finally received the infusion sets for my insulin pump, that I had been chasing down since December. I was down to my last box, and had even resorted to reusing the sets to make sure they lasted.

I didn’t really have much of a stockpile of sets at home. I’ve been pretty mindful of my ordering, particularly since I had changed infusion sets only a few months ago. Plus, we’ve been told not to over order in ‘fear’ of the recent changes to the delivery of NDSS products. My local diabetes orgs and diabetes educator have told me that there are no issues affecting supply.

This debacle began when I placed a regular order for my diabetes consumables on December 12 through my local Pharmacy. I figured that this order would arrive in time to cover me through Christmas and New Year. When my order arrived only partially filled, I was told that my infusion sets were on back order – but that I would still get them. I waited a week. Two weeks. I was continually reassured that the stock was still coming my way, and that the hold up was due to the NDSS changes.

When the New Year rolled around, I went back and had a chat with my Pharmacy. After a few phone calls, I was told that the manufacturer claimed that it had delivered the stock to my Pharmacy’s wholesaler. Meanwhile, the wholesaler claimed that it hasn’t received the stock. Who do you believe? Who takes responsibility?

I am really grateful for the relationship I do have with my Pharmacy, because otherwise I would have run out of stock much sooner. They told me that Diabetes WA had three boxes of my infusion sets in stock, and advised me to place an order through them while I waited. Diabetes WA still sell NDSS products online, without the free postage option that was available prior to the changes. Thanks, Y.

So, the initial order from Diabetes WA arrived within a few days, and I had two boxes of infusion sets sitting on the shelf. But when I placed my next order in early February, it arrived partially returned, with a note on my receipt stating that the infusion sets were on “back order.” Again.

Diabetes WA only had three boxes in stock in January. I had purchased two, and the final box was likely sold to someone else during the month. I was also still waiting on my order from December. So, I think it was reasonable for me to assume that perhaps there were shortages. I then phoned the manufacturer, AMSL, who told me that they had plenty of stock in Sydney and that there was no reason for shortages.

When my order finally arrived last week, my Pharmacist told me that Diabetes Australia purge all orders after one month, despite the fact that mine had not yet been completed. That was, apparently the hold up.

When my order from Diabetes WA arrived a few days later and I suggested this reason, I was told that it was the manufacturer who purges all orders after one month.

To add to this, I’ve also heard another rumour that Animas Comfort infusion sets are being discontinued and these last four boxes had to be specially ordered for me.

Who do I believe?

There are two morals to this story. And well done if you’ve made it this far into my rant…

  1. Have a good relationship with your Pharmacist – they will be your friend and advocate and can give you advice.
  2. Get on the phone with your Pharmacist, the NDSS, the manufacturer, and keep reminding them that you haven’t received your orders. Don’t wait too long for them to call you back, because there’s a good chance they’ll forget.

A massive thank you to everyone who helped me chase down my orders through this long ordeal.

I now have four boxes of infusion sets sitting on my shelf at home. Hopefully my next order will arrive before they are depleted.

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