• Expanded reimbursement provides people over 21 years of age access to FreeStyle Libre technology on prescription for the first time.
• FreeStyle Libre 2 system provides real-time minute-by-minute glucose readings and optional alarms on users’ smartphones.
Abbott has announced that its revolutionary glucose-sensing technology for diabetes management, the FreeStyle Libre 2 system, is available through the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) reimbursement programme for all people in Ireland living with Type 1 diabetes.
Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre portfolio is now helping more than five million people across more than 60 countries to easily monitor their blood glucose levels. The system replaces the need for routine finger prick tests through the use of a sensor worn on the back of the upper arm, which allows the user to view their real-time glucose readings through the FreeStyle LibreLink smartphone app.
The FreeStyle Libre system was launched in Ireland in 2016 and since 2018 has been available free of charge through the HSE, prescribed for those under the age of 21. With this expanded reimbursement, now all people living with Type 1 diabetes in Ireland will have access to the system without costs, regardless of their age. Users will also now be able to access the FreeStyle Libre 2 system, providing them with minute-by-minute glucose readings and customisable real-time glucose alarms.
The decision by the HSE comes after the publication of a rapid health technology assessment by HIQA. This found that using continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems over finger prick tests can improve glycaemic outcomes, particularly time in range, for people with Type 1 diabetes.
“At Abbott, ensuring people have access to life-changing FreeStyle Libre technology is a priority,” said Neil Harris, general manager of Abbott’s diabetes care business in Ireland and the UK. ” And now with expanded reimbursement for the FreeStyle Libre 2 system, people with Type 1 diabetes have access to a sensor with one of the longest wear times on the market, real-time glucose measurements and optional alarms on their smartphone – significant steps towards reducing the burden of diabetes management.”
Welcoming the news, Kieran O’Leary, CEO of Diabetes Ireland said: “Since 2016, Diabetes Ireland and the diabetes community have been advocating for the removal of the age restriction for the FreeStyle Libre system as, unfortunately, the cost of self-funding the system has been a barrier and has left some people unable to access the technology and its benefits. Today, we warmly welcome the expansion of the reimbursement scheme to make the FreeStyle Libre 2 system available to all people with Type 1 diabetes at no cost to them. This will allow more people to access CGM and is a major step forward in the delivery and management of diabetes care in Ireland.”
People living with Type 1 diabetes who are interested in using the FreeStyle Libre 2 system, should speak to their healthcare team at their next routine appointment.