Freestyle Libre Update

Diabetes Ireland continues to seek clarification on the pending Freestyle LIBRE review by the Primary Care Eligibility & Reimbursement Service (HSE PCERS) due this year as outlined in the Advice Note 2017/01.


Following plethera of parliamentary questions from TDs, a recent welcome response has clarified that the following will be included in that review;

  1. Clinical data from Irish settings acknowledging that has a bearing on cost effectiveness
  2. Review of strip usage at an individual level for persons approved for Freestyle LIBRE
  3. Reasons for exceptional approvals
  4. Overall review of the quantitative data
  5. Diabetes Ireland Survey on the use of the freestyle LIBRE.


This response also provided, for the first time, detailed costing’s incurred by the HSE. To date, there are 2,798 people currently using Freestyle LIBRE at a cost to be in the region of €1.8 million. Many of these may not be using the Libre for a full 12 months so while it would not be accurate to calculate a per patient cost from this data, it does show that the cost of Freestyle Libre will not exceed the anticipated budgetary spend as set out in the Advice Note 2017/01 which is positive for the review.


For our community, it is of note that in relation to point 2 above on individual usage the response also stated that it is apparent that individuals continue to use both CGM/FGM sensors and maintain the same level of strip usage to monitor glucose levels.   Some of these identified individuals have been contacted by the HSE PCERS to assist them to understand why they continue to access comparable (if not more) levels of ancillary supplies (strips) in their pharmacy.


As you will appreciate, it is important in light of this information that as a community we continue to work together to ensure that cost savings are made where possible , especially as it seems to impact strongly on decisions around access to new medicines and technologies as in the case of the case of the Freestyle Libre.



Please see response from Brendan Howlin, T.D. (Leader of the Labour Party) Response Letter.