Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation
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Student seeking for help: Diabetes Mellitus 1 medication

Being a student for the coming years in the UK, I will benefit from medical support from the UK NHS.

For my medical therapy I require insulin, lancettes, test strips, catheters and reservoires as well as CGM sensors for my medtronic insulin pump.

As I am not British, I wonder if the these medications are covered and paid by the NHS, as I need all these items for the coming 3 - 4 years.

Thanks for help

8 Replies

It may depend on where you're coming from.

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I agree, if you are not from the EU you will not (as far as I'm aware) be entitled to anything from the NHS except for emergency care, for which you may be charged for any ongoing treatment.

If you are not from the EU I think you will need to check what the rules are. This might help : gov.uk/government/uploads/s...

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I've queried your ability to get a medical exemption card with NHS Business Services. If you can't get your prescriptions for free the best way to go is a pre-payment certificate, which is £104 for the year. Sounds a lot, but considering the NHS prescription charge is over £8 per item (i.e. needles, insulin, test strips count as three separate items) it is excellent value in the long run.


Thanks a lot for your help. Do you know if the NHS also takes over the costs for sensors to monitor the glucose level (CGM)?


Here's the response:

Thank you for your email to NHS Help with Health Costs.

With reference to your friend they would need to register with a local Doctors Practice.

To apply for a Medical Exemption Certificate, they would need to ask their doctor to submit an FP92A application form on their behalf.

We will arrange for a certificate to be sent to them within 7-10 working days of receiving their application and we will automatically backdate their application by one month.

They will be able to claim back any prescription charges they have paid that are covered by their certificate, providing they have requested an FP57 NHS refund receipt from the pharmacist at the time they pay for the prescription.

Once they receive their certificate, please take the FP57 to any community pharmacy and they will provide them with a cash refund. They will need to claim their refund within 3 months (less a day) of the date the charge was paid.

For any general enquiries, please use our 'Ask Us' page at nhsbsa.nhs.uk or visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/NHSBSAHelpWith... if you require any further assistance please contact us by email or telephone us on 0300 330 1341.

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Thank you so much for your help.


From your description I would assume that you are a Type 1 Diabetic using an insulin pump in conjunction with a CGM. In the UK Type 1s have to get funding to be given pumps and CGM through the NHS, in other words it is not an automatic right. Since you have not mentioned where you come from it's difficult to say what you could get from the NHS


Thank you for reply.

yes, I am Diabetic Type 1 since 10 years.

As I come from a European Economic Area (EEA) country, I read that I am qualified for full NHS treatment. I already obtained a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to support this requirement. (http://www.foreignstudents.com/health/nhs )

I have had a pump since I was 10 and my CGM since 5 years. As I just got a new insulin pump, I will not need a new one within the coming 4 or 5 years, but I would not like to give up my CGM. Do you have any experience how to apply for this kind of sensors?


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