London, United Kingdom — Abbott today announces that the National Health Service (NHS) Business Services Authority has approved the listing of the FreeStyle Libre system, used in the management of diabetes, on the Drug Tariff. This means, subject to local health economy approval, it will be available for reimbursement via the NHS across England and Wales, NHS Scotland and Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland from 1st November 2017.
Abbott’s revolutionary FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring 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 £2 coin, that is worn on the back of the upper arm for up to 14 days, eliminating the need for routine finger pricksi and user calibration. The ease, convenience and discretion afforded by the product have led to strong support across patients, healthcare professionals and key opinion leaders.
Two clinical trialsii,iii and real-world evidence from more than 50,000 usersiv show that people who use the FreeStyle Libre system scan their glucose levels an average of at least 15 times per day. In real-world use, higher rates of scanning to self-monitor glucose were found to be strongly associated with improved glucose measures, including decreased time in hypoglycaemia (low glucose levels) and hyperglycaemia (high glucose levels) and reduced estimated HbA1c.
"The FreeStyle Libre system has been shown to offer life-changing improvements for people with diabetes intensively-using insulin, 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 Health Services’ decisions, and we look forward to partnering with them to provide the several thousands of people with diabetes with our innovative technology to help manage their condition."
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 system that provides a visual snapshot of glucose levels, trends and patterns over time. It also provides doctors with deeper insights to help make more informed treatment decisions.
“We are in the process of implementing a multi-channel education and support programme for both patients and clinicians to ensure that the community is able to benefit from this reimbursement decision in the most effective possible way,” said Harris. “We are also in direct communication with Local Health Economies to ensure that those intensively using insulin are given access to this innovative technology in the months and years ahead.”
FreeStyle Libre sensor components are manufactured at Abbott’s manufacturing and R&D site in Witney, Oxfordshire. There are currently 1,400 Abbott employees in the UK. Last year Abbott announced 150 jobs were due to be created over the next 18 months as a result of the adoption of FreeStyle Libre system globally. The FreeStyle Libre system has over 300,000 users globally and is available in more than 35 countries.
About the FreeStyle Libre System
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 reads glucose levels through a sensor that can be worn on the back of the upper arm for up to 14 days, eliminating the need for routine finger sticksi. In addition, no finger stick calibration is needed—a key differentiator from current continuous glucose monitoring systems available in the UK. In the U.S., the FreeStyle Libre system is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
At Abbott, we're committed to helping people live their best possible life through the power of health. For more than 125 years, we've brought new products and technologies to the world -- in nutrition, diagnostics, medical devices and branded generic pharmaceuticals -- that create more possibilities for more people at all stages of life. Today, 94,000 of us are working to help people live not just longer, but better, in the more than 150 countries we serve.
Abbott UK press office
phone 0207 566 9772
i A finger prick test using a blood glucose meter is required during times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels, or if hypoglycemia or impending hypoglycemia is reported or the symptoms do not match the system readings.
ii Bolinder J, Antuna R, Geelhoed-Duijvestijn P, Kroger J, Weitgasser R. Novel glucose-sensing technology and hypoglycaemia in Type 1 diabetes: a multicentre, non-masked, randomised controlled trial [published online September 12, 2016]. Lancet. 2016;
iii Haak T, Hanaire H, Ajjan R et al. Flash glucose-sensing technology as a replacement for blood glucose monitoring for the management of insulin-treated Type 2 diabetes: a multicenter, open-label randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Ther. 2017; 8: 55-73
iv Dunn, T., Xu, Y., & Hayter, G. (2017). Evidence of a Strong Association Between Frequency of Flash Glucose Monitoring and Glucose Control Measures During Real-World Usage. Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics, 19(S1). Doi: 10.1D89/dia.2017.2525.abstracts