22 January 2018
Diabetes Ireland welcomes the decision announced by Minister Harris on Friday 19th January but question the restrictions.
Minister for Health Simon Harris TD announced on Friday the HSE’s decision to reimburse FreeStyle Libre for children and young adults with Type 1 diabetes. Freestyle Libre is an innovative new technology whereby a small device worn on the body allow essential glucose trends to be checked frequently without invasive finger prick testing. The Freestyle Libre permits the levels and trends in glucose levels to be continuously monitored which will lead to better diabetes management but more importantly better health and Quality of Life.
Diabetes Ireland today welcome the Ministers endorsement of the HSE decision. However, Diabetes Ireland is disappointed that this ground breaking technology is not being made available for every person with Type 1 diabetes, based on clinical need.
Diabetes Ireland will be seeking clarification as to why the Freestyle Libre is not being made available to the 20,000 adults living with Type 1 diabetes and why the device is being restricted to only persons using a daily multiple dose injection regime only as many children and young adults with Type 1 diabetes are now using continuous insulin infusions (insulin pumps) who need to equally test as frequently or more than a person on a multiple dose injection regime and according to Friday’s press release may be exempt from accessing the Libre.
Dr Anna Clarke, Health Promotion and Research Manager, Diabetes Ireland stated that “while the overall message from Minister Harris is positive, there are many disappointed adults who currently pay €120 a month for this device, and have seen much improvement in their health and quality of life from using the device daily. A lot of these adults were encouraged to get the device based on their clinical need and on the basis that it would eventually be reimbursed by the HSE as in the UK. We firmly believe that everyone with diabetes using insulin should have access to the technology that bests support them to manage their condition most effectively on a daily basis”. We have campaigned to have the Freestyle Libre made available on the Long Term Illness scheme for all patients using insulin based on their clinical need and we will continue to do so.”