I purchased a pump in South Africa from the medtronic rep in December. I started using the pump on the 6th of December - it seemed to make the reality of being a diabetic significantly more realistic!! (Not that I have been living in denial for the last 19 years?!) On the pump over the last 30 days - my control (albeit not that bad on MDIs) has significantly improved. After using up my first set of consumables I have approached the pharmacy for a repeat and they claim the medical insurance will not cover them!
Take a look at these numbers:
- Purchase of the Minimed 722(6th december 2010 once off) - ZAR27,500-00. => (GBP2,565.30) - Not covered by insurance
- Novorapid insulin vial(one month supply) - ZAR450-00 => (GBP42.00) - COVERED**
- Consumables(Infusion sets MT399 box of 10) - ZAR1650-00 => (GBP154.00) - Not covered by insurance
Originally I was happy to pay for the Pump(1) above in cash as long as the medical insurance would cover the consumables. They agreed to it(or so the Medtronic rep stated). Now I am lead to believe they do not cover it on the option I am on so I have to upgrade to the premium insurance cover that is going to cost(drum roll please) -> ZAR4500-00(GBP420.00) per month from what I currently pay at ZAR3600-00(GBP335.82) per month!
As my gran would have stated(rest her soul) - "I am not Rockerfeller I am the other fellow!"
I am not sure what the costs are in other parts of the globe(UK or US) but I cannot see pumping as a viable solution economically speaking in the third world.
Currently the fight goes on - my first stop is Medtronic via the Rep(lets see what she says) and then I am going to approach the insurance company(a happy diabetic is a lot less costly in the long run than an unhappy MDIer)…
Maybe we should start a business of importing these consumables??? I am sure if we can get them for cheaper we can reduce the total cost of ownership and usage and make this more accessible to the masses!!?