Petition signed by 18,000 people presented to TD’s
A petition presentation to TDs seeking to make the new flash glucose monitoring technology, the Freestyle Libre, available to all people with Type 1 diabetes, based on clinical need will take place on Wednesday 18th April 2018, at the gates of Leinster House (Kildare Street) at 11:30am. The petition, signed by more than 18,000 people, calls on the HSE to remove the age barrier criteria it has set and give access to this life changing technology to those who clinically need it most.
From 3 April 2018, the HSE has made the Freestyle Libre available only to children and young adults with Type 1 diabetes aged between 4 and 21 years.
Gráinne Flynn, one of the campaign leaders stated “The Freestyle Libre provides more information than a finger prick meter about glucose levels to base our insulin dosing decisions on. This is more than just a game changer in diabetes, it empowers us to manage our diabetes better, reducing the number of dangerous low and high glucose levels. What frustrates me so much is that the HSE seems to have based its decision not on clinical evidence of improved quality of life but on cost saving reasons, indicating that, anyone with type 1 diabetes over age 21 is not worth investing €62.60 per year.”
All other countries who have reimbursed the FreeStyle Libre system have made this life changing technology available to people with diabetes based on clinical need. Ireland is the only country who has placed an overarching restriction of age for 4 – 21 years and within this age group there are further restrictions for this cohort to access this technology
Donal Gilroy, a self-employed Energy Assessor from Sligo has been living with type 1 diabetes for 35 years, said: “I didn’t realise that I was having dangerous low blood glucose levels every night at about 3am until I started using the Libre. I rarely woke during these and my long-term health was affected. Once we discovered them myself and my consultant had a fuller picture of how my diabetes was being managed and we were able to address and eliminate the problems. I feel my health has improved significantly since using the Libre. Things, like not having to finger prick 8 times a day, not constantly having sore fingers has improved the quality of my day to day life.”
“All we are seeking, is the opportunity for our Consultant Endocrinologists to be able to make a decision based on clinical need to prescribe the Libre to patients they feel need it most, regardless of age. It’s not a lot to ask” added Grainne.