The FreeStyle Libre lowers health costs and improves treatment adherence compared with self-monitoring of blood glucose levels (SMBG), a US study shows.
The Libre and continuous glucose monitors devices measure glucose levels throughout the day, but people are still advised to perform standard blood glucose tests to confirm accuracy, particularly before making any treatment decisions.
Researchers used the findings from the IMPACT (type 1 diabetes) and REPLACE (type 2 diabetes) trials to create a cost calculation based on SMBG testing frequencies of 6-10 per day. This frequency is recommended by The American Diabetes Association for people with diabetes who use MDI.
IMPACT and REPLACE were two six-month studies which compared additional SMBG with the FreeStyle Libre vs. standard SMBG in people on multiple daily injections (MDI),
The study showed that for Libre users with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes who conducted six additional SMBG tests per day the cost was $256 (£193) and $426 (£321) for 10 tests. The monthly sensor cost was $108 (£82). And the calculation also accounted for undiscounted prices on test strips.
Explaining the cost calculation’s results, when compared to non-CGM users on SMBG, the researchers said: “For those testing 6 times/day, flash CGM saves over $120 PPPM compared with SMBG and it saves over $290 PPPM for people testing 10 times/day. For people testing more than 3 times/day, flash CGM has a lower acquisition cost than SMBG.
“For people with T1DM or T2DM who use MDI therapy, flash CGM has demonstrated improved adherence to the ADA recommendation as well as reduced acquisition cost when compared with routine SMBG.”
The studies also found that Libre users with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes experienced substantial reductions in hypoglycemia compared with SMBG.
In the UK, people with diabetes can purchase the FreeStyle Libre and CGM devices, but it is worth finding out first if you qualify for use on the NHS.
The findings were presented at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions and have been published online in the journal Diabetes Care.

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