Industry News: Revolutionary System Allows Diabetics to Check Glucose Levels Without Calibration or Routine Finger Sticks

First-of-its-kind product has driven significant reimbursement in key markets, due to exceptional clinical outcome data and proven accuracy

20 Sep 2017


Abbott has announced that the FreeStyle® Libre system is now available for reimbursement in the United Kingdom (UK). The National Health Service (NHS) Business Services Authority has approved the listing on the Drug Tariff for the FreeStyle Libre system for people with diabetes using insulin. This means that from Nov. 1, 2017 it will be available for reimbursement via the NHS across England and Wales, NHS Scotland, and the Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland.

"The FreeStyle Libre system has been shown to offer life-changing improvements for people with diabetes to help them live healthier and fuller lives," said Neil Harris, general manager of Abbott's UK diabetes care business. "We are delighted with the NHS decision, and we look forward to partnering with them to provide people with diabetes our innovative technology to help manage their condition."

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Abbott's FreeStyle Libre system is designed to change how people with diabetes measure their glucose levels and ultimately help them achieve better health outcomes. The system automatically reads glucose levels through a sensor, approximately the size of a U.S. quarter, that is worn on the back of the upper arm for up to 14 days, eliminating the need for calibration and routine finger sticks.

"FreeStyle Libre has allowed me to properly track my glucose - it's finally connected the dots when it comes to managing my diabetes," said Dave Sowerby, a 42-year old living with Type 1 diabetes from Lancashire, UK. "FreeStyle Libre more easily allows you to track how your glucose is changing versus using the finger stick method, as you can just scan on the go. This decision will allow people to finally take control of their condition, and understand it in a way they've never been able to before."

Two published clinical trials, including one published in The Lancet, together with real-world evidence from more than 50,000 users show that people with diabetes who use the FreeStyle Libre system scan their glucose levels an average of 15 times per day. The studies show that people who scan more frequently spend less time in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and demonstrate improved glucose control overall. As such, use of the FreeStyle Libre system leads to improved diabetes management.

With the data from the FreeStyle Libre system, people can have a better understanding of their glucose levels through the Ambulatory Glucose Profile (AGP), a chart generated by the software that provides a visual snapshot of glucose levels, trends and patterns over time. It also provides doctors with deeper insights to make more informed treatment decisions.

Abbott's FreeStyle Libre system was introduced across Europe in 2014, and is now available in 41 countries and used by more than 300,000 people with diabetes around the world. The UK now joins a group of 17 partially or fully reimbursed countries including France, Germany and Japan. 

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