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Buying libre sensors in a pharmacy

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by SweetSophia, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. SweetSophia

    SweetSophia Type 1 · Member

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    I know people can order libre sensors and reader online, but I'm wondering if I can buy them freely in a pharmacy or similar store. Is there a place selling sensors and reader? How much do they cost? Are there any requirements for buying them (except money lol)?
     
  2. MeiChanski

    MeiChanski Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello, yes you can, you just need to call up in advance and ask around for prices and availability. If you're a diabetic, some pharmacies need to see your medical exemption card to get VAT exempt. Sensors are anything between £46-52 from pharmacies. If you don't have a reader, you can use your phone with NFC :)
     
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  3. Fenn

    Fenn Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I buy mine at my local chemist, he knows me but makes me fill out a form so he can claim back the vat, this makes them £46 instead of over £50 so I would say take proof of db, maybe your exemption card


    Sorry, repeated above advice i think, ignore mine hehe
     
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  4. SweetSophia

    SweetSophia Type 1 · Member

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    I thought sensor can't be activated with a phone, I thought reader has to be used for that and than I can see the bg values on both reader and phone?
     
  5. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    Works fine without the reader. I've used them for a couple of years now and have never owned a reader :) . But if you have a reader, you can use both if you just scan with your reader first.

    Just to make sure, you are in the UK, righ? Otherwise things may be different with buying in pharmacies.
     
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    #5 Antje77, Jul 22, 2019 at 6:48 PM
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  6. MeiChanski

    MeiChanski Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It can be activated with your phone, but once you do that you can't activate it with your reader. But you can use your phone for the sensor if it has NFC. The app is much better, extra information than the reader.
     
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  7. CondorX

    CondorX Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    As above, pharmacies have no issue selling them to you in the UK - best prices in our area are at Asda - around £46 each, I fill out the form for them to get the VAT. Best to check if you need to order one in before you visit.
    You don't have to have a Reader - currently the manufacturer is not selling them directly online, but if you want one, they can be sourced via Ebay and other such sites. You can activate the sensor with the Reader or the phone, if you want to use both then you must activate the Reader first.
     
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  8. HSSS

    HSSS Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Just a note for diet only t2 that have no exemption card because they are not on meds.

    You are still a diagnosed diabetic and entitled to the vat exemption. The requirement asked for locally (not HMRC requirement) for a card fails to recognise diet control. It’s a declaration you sign that gets you entitlement not the card. They should not refuse you for lack of a card or prescription. Once you sign the responsibility is yours not the retailers.
     
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  9. SweetSophia

    SweetSophia Type 1 · Member

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    Well now that you've mentioned that...
    When I first read your comment I thought "That's odd...I was sure there's something problematic with sensor activation via app" and then I read the rest of the comment.
    I'm not in the UK, but my sister lives there. I suppose this means I would have to pay the higher price ( I wouldn't get the reduction you've all mentioned), but I'm fine with that since I can't buy libre at all in my country (not online, not in pharmacy).
    As for the sensor activation, I'm sure there's some problem with apps I would use, but honestly - I'm not sure what the exact problem is and I would have to look into it again in order to find out. Possibilities are:
    1. Libre link app isn't available in my country and that's the only app that can be used for sensor activation.
    2. I would need to set up a new kind of bank account in order to be able to pay for the app online and I just don't have time in my life for that right now (maybe later).
    3. Libre link app isn't available for the phone I currently have (and this I know for sure because I looked at the lists of phones that are compatible). I could buy a new phone, but not immediately.
    4. It's possible that I only considered using the apps that work with nightrider and miao miao (because if I'm satisfied with libre, I'll try to get one of these) and it's possible that libre link app isn't one of them.

    Anyway, I think that's where the problem is - the difference between official app and similar ones.
     
  10. MeiChanski

    MeiChanski Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Full price for sensors is around £60 or so.
    If your sister shops around, she might be able to buy the reader online since she has a UK postal address? That might save you the hassle of buying a new phone etc. However if you have the miao miao transmitter and an app like spike if you're on apple or another app like Nightcon? (I forgot the names of the android apps) on an android, which then you can calibrate it and it ends up being a CGM rather than FGM. My concern is I hope you don't run into faulty sensors, it can happen and it'll be troublesome since it's not available in your country, so getting a replacement might again, be a hassle.
     
  11. evilclive

    evilclive Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Starting the sensor may be tricky - NFC phone or reader required, miao miao doesn't help with that AIUI. (I still use a reader + miao miao for alarms, phone doesn't have NFC).
     
  12. CearaRed1073

    CearaRed1073 Type 1 · Member

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    SweetSophia, i'm in the US. the app is available for both iOS (Apple iPhone) and for Android, which has only been available for a short time.

    Abbott (the company behind it) only has a telephone support line...
    [​IMG] 1-855-632-8658
    Hours of operation: Monday through Friday 8am to 8pm Eastern Time (four hours earlier than GMT); excluding holidays

    HOWEVER, the company also has a facebook page and if you use facebook messenger, you can (with a little work and tenacity) get someone to respond to any problems you might encounter.
     
  13. Dicko

    Dicko Type 1 · Member

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    Price for sensors from Freestyle Libre (Abbott) direct is £48.29 + VAT, i have been using (self funding) for approx 3 years, never had an issue with a sensor being replaced due to error, or even if its fallen off.
    I do know, if you get them elsewhere, then you need to go to them in the first instance, which can be a pain.
     
  14. MeiChanski

    MeiChanski Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Full price is for those who aren't VAT exempt which is £55-60. I was self funding since December 2018 - May 2019, so prices for me were anywhere between £45-46. I've had one faulty sensor out the entire time I was self funding and Abbott CS have been amazing and replaced it quickly, that applied to buying it from a pharmacy or from their website. (I bought them from ASDA and called Abbott for replacement).
    For OP, since sensors aren't available in her or his country and I'm assuming Abbott CS as well, it'll be quite troublesome if OP came across a faulty sensor or one that isn't working properly.
    Technology has room for it to fail nor it is perfect.
     
  15. CondorX

    CondorX Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Trouble is, Abbot are refusing to supply direct at present to new clients due to having large NHS contracts, I would think, and issues fulfilling them. existing online customers can order, but not new ones at present, until they open their orders again.
    I would hope the retailer has to take responsibility under UK law, so in those not supplied directly by Abbot, it would be the pharmacy who supplied it to the buyer. Having said that, nothing to stop abbot from intervening if they are contacted, and exchanging a faulty sensor, as many have reported they have done.
     
  16. Kim Possible

    Kim Possible Type 1 · Expert

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    I have experienced no problems buying sensors from Asda and, more recently, getting them on prescription from my local pharmacy.
    In both situations, when I have experienced a problem sensor, I have called the freephone Abbott number and they replaced the sensor within 3 working days.

    I have no experience of buying a reader or having any problems with it - I use my phone and avoid carrying extra "stuff"
    with me.
     
  17. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Expert
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    Hi,

    The Libre link app was a free download for me.
    Once you have a compatable device, you could possibly get the app using wifi when you next visit the UK? (Your sister.)

    Hope this helps with a possible work around..
     
  18. buckmr2

    buckmr2 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    15652412298291022236295477062777.jpg
    Love the app just a pity it can't show how much insulin you have remaining in use and for how long like the reader can.Critical for adjusting next dose if any insulin still active which is why I usually carry my phone AND the reader (in its new pouch thanks to Abbott for the freebie!)
     
    #18 buckmr2, Aug 8, 2019 at 6:15 AM
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  19. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    I only use the app but this looks like a useful feature!
    On the other hand, I log my injections in the app and they show on the top of the screen, which also tells me if I still have active insulin as I see the time I took my last dose and the amount.
    I also have a fancy new insulin pen (Novopen 5) with a little display showing my last dose and how long ago I took it.
     
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