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Glucose sensors

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Choosehappy, Dec 8, 2020.

  1. Choosehappy

    Choosehappy Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys

    I am just wondering what sensors you use?

    I wanted the freestyle libre but it is quite expensive for the sensors each month at £100 ( haven’t asked my nurse yet but doubt I’d be eligible via nhs)

    does anyone use any others that are abit cheaper?

    I know some might say you can’t put a price on health but it’s just not feasible for me to spend all this money on 2 sensors a month at the moment, personally I think it’s quite steep but would love to not have to finger prick anymore and to see a reading every 5 minutes would really help with my control. I think the machine is a really good price but £1200 over the course of a year not at all slating those who are happy to pay this! As I really do see the appeal and if I could afford it I would be signing up!! Our health is obviously most important just hoping there is a cheaper just as good option? (other than finger pricking)?

    can anyone suprise me lol...
     
  2. sleepster

    sleepster Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Choosehappy, I get libres on the NHS so can't really comment on other sensors and costs, but I think you should ask your DSN if you'd be eligible for the libres first. The only criteria I had to meet to get funded was testing my blood at least 8 times a day. I appreciate criteria may vary depending on your CCG but it'd be worth asking :)
     
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  3. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

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    Hi,

    I use the Libre, bluetooth bridge & self fund. If it's any help.? you are entitled to get the VAT knocked off the Libre price being T1. Edited to add; the reader app can be calibrated for better accuracy.

    I've had all sorts of things unprompted "offered" by a gushing DSNs in the past.. (From my experience.)
    But alas. By the time i get to see the endo....
    I've come to the conclusion a Nurse will only give you something a rep has left behind. ;)

    My sensor runs out in 7 days & though i have a replacement to hand. i've found an app that could possibly extend the life of an expired sensor, by tricking it into a new start up.. We shall see.o_O I certainly don't hold out much hope regarding accuracy?
    But i'm a big boy now & i still have a meter. :)
     
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    #3 Jaylee, Dec 8, 2020 at 11:53 PM
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
  4. MeiChanski

    MeiChanski Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    If it’s a libre sensor that you are after, I was self funding on and off for 6 months then my consultant agreed to put it on prescription. Each case and CCG varies, you might need to do a course or something educational to learn how to use it etc. (Spotting trends and adjusting insulin etc) but next time you see your consultant, it’s worth an ask.

    If it’s a CGM you are after, it’s even harder to ask for.
     
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  5. Chloelox

    Chloelox Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi!

    so! I’ve tried a couple of sensors. I get the freestyle libre on prescription simply because not understanding how certain foods affected my BG’s and no evidence to explain what happened with highs etc I was given libre. I did self fund the Dexcom g6 for 3 months too.

    truthfully the Dexcom made me feel like I had my life back, thanks to the alarms I found I was obsessing over possible highs and lows less, better view of my blood sugar as it gave results every 5 minutes - however - cons.. longer start up time, I found the sensor itself was a little more painful than the libre, I found I had to calibrate it most mornings after sleeping, it would lose signal sometimes too.

    with the libre I find it is never 100% accurate although if I really find it troublesome with readings then freestyle are more than happy to replace and quickly, I find the insertion less painful than Dexcom truthfully.. but I am very slim and don’t have a lot of ‘fat’ to help with cushioning. No alarms however next year the libre 2 is meant to be given in the U.K. on prescriptions which has alarms.

    in most ways I preferred the Dexcom. But that honestly was mainly for the alarms.. I’ve been using libre for a year and have never had any serious issues, just a couple of bleeders and an infection at site of insertion once.. which didn’t need medical care.

    it really depends what you want the sensor to do, but I really do think you should try and speak about receiving a libre on prescription.. the financial burden of the Dexcom was just too much for me that after 3 months I simply couldn’t continue.

    hope this helps!
     
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  6. miahara

    miahara Type 3c · Well-Known Member

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    The new Libre2 comes with alarms and if you could get one funded by the NHS there's a good chance you'd get the Libre 2 rather than the 1. An increasing number of CCGs are funding Libre so it would be very well worthwhile contacting your DSN to discuss the possibility of getting one prescribed.

    Best of luck!
     
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  7. jackois

    jackois Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I haven't found anything cheaper to self fund than the Libre. Sadly, for me, it also gave me skin problems which, in turn, led to a lack of accuracy. As well as this, the cost went up as you spent money on stuff to help adhesion and so on. Also, according to Freestyle, no one else was suffering skin problems, in spite of many social media threads dedicated to the very problem.. .

    I switched to Dexcom after a reduced price trial offer they did and it's like chalk and cheese. Sensors don't fall off, cause skin problems and are generally accurate from the get go. As it's a subscription, you always have sensors in the cupboard should there be a problem.

    Looking forward to seeing the G7 which, I understand, is smaller, has a built in transmitter and due next year, pandemics permitting.
     
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  8. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. A side issue but important for some is the problem with adhesive allergy with both Libre and Dexcom. There are FB forums for this. I am allergic to the adhesive types that have been used so if I trial one of these I will be aware of possible problems.
     
  9. In Response

    In Response Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    If expense is a concern, an option to consider is to become a part time sensor user.
    I was doing this for nearly a year with Libre. The value I got from two weeks wearing a sensor was amazing to be able to tweak my insulin dose and timing. Whilst I was not able to receive alerts, by learning what my blood sugars were doing between finger pricks and adjust my insulin accordingly, I reduced the variation significantly so had less highs and lows.
    I had a Dexcom for a while and the number of false alerts drove me crazy. For me, the data is more important than the alarms.

    By becoming a part time sensor wearer, I have been able o maintain my blood sugar level sensitivity and not depend upon alerts. This is great because they do fail and I need to know that I can cope when it fails.
     
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  10. Angusc

    Angusc Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    if you end up in hospital 2 or more times a year having a CGM will work out cheaper for the NHS than the CGM. Ask your diabetic team to cost of worst year for hospital admission's then they can argue that the CGM will save money.
     
  11. HeartBreakHigh

    HeartBreakHigh · Member

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    I feel your pain re the cost. £58 for a sensor that lasts 2 weeks is absolutely scandalous. I don´t know how these companies such as Abbot are allowed to get away with it.
    In the future I will be in the situation of having to chose between health and wealth when (if as planned, I leave the UK and hence the NHS prescription).

    Currently I am on the Freesyle Libre on an NHS prescription (something that started at the beginning of this year).
    My GP (who specialises in diabetes) finally recommended the sensors and put me on a trial prescription after years of poor HbA1c results that were around the 8.5-10% mark.
    This was also after my retort of "If your pancreas only knew your body´s blood glucose level twice each day your sugar levels would be all over the place too". Though I can´t know if that made any difference or not, haha.

    I haven´t had a HbA1c since. So don´t yet have a definite reference point of how well they have worked. But if the meter readings are anywhere near accurate then I suspect that my HbA1c (which I´m actually booked to have on 29th December) should have come down by at least 2% or more, with no change in diet or erratic lifestyle.

    Being able to know your sugar level at any moment is pretty amazing and I´ve often been surprised by the readings. Apart from when my levels are really really high or verging on hypos I have really lost any sense of being able to feel my level as I don´t get the signs like I used to many years ago.

    Obviously it´s not perfect. But for me it´s been so much better than finger pricking (and often running out of test strips before my official prescription refill date) and hopefully very early in the new year my HbA1c result will show a massive improvement related to the Freetsyle Libre reader.

    But that walk-in pharmacy cost though. I would literally have to live in a tent if I wanted to continue with them outside of a heavily subsidised prescription.

    As for cheaper ones. I did a bit of research and other brands seemed to be even more expensive than Abbot´s Freestyle Libre. Including an ´upgraded´model that supposedly gives you a warning ´buzz´when your sugar is going too low or high.

    I really don´t know why these things aren´t on prescriptions worldwide for those that want or need them. At least people should be but on 3 month trails to see if they are able to achieve better control.
    Also in the long run, it would save money as of course better long term control means less problems (and money) in the future and also the present too depending on circumstances.
     
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  12. TypeZero.

    TypeZero. · Well-Known Member

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    You need to ask your CCG about this because they vary in policy over CGMs, FGMs and insulin pumps

    For example, I used to live in London, it was nearly impossible to get a Libre on the NHS there as you need to either be a child, a pregnant woman, have kidney problems or hypo unawareness. But on the flip side my consultant recommended me a pump and was going to apply for it but I moved locations (funny how a pump is more expensive but they’d rather fund a pump than Libre)

    However on the flip side I moved to Hertfordshire and in my first appointment (telephone consultation) my consultant just told me to do a survey online about the stress caused by my diabetes and she didn’t even ask for the survey, she only asked for the score and I got 61/80 and then she said I qualify for Libre and that it just needs to be approved by CCG then it will be added to my repeat prescription. I was so shocked. I could’ve just lied about the score just to get a Libre - it wasn’t hard at all.

    So you see, all CCGs vary in policy so it’s important to ask them. By the way the manufacturer of Libre do free replacements, you just have to let them know of a complaint so you could use this to get free sensors
     
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