Prescribing CGMs to pregnant women with type 1 diabetes could save NHS money

Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are more cost-effective than finger pricking for pregnant women with type 1 diabetes, a review has showed.

An analysis of the Continuous Glucose Monitoring in Pregnant Women with Type 1 Diabetes (CONCEPTT) study, which looked at the benefits of CGMs for pregnant women with type 1 diabetes, revealed that the devices could save the NHS £2,500 per pregnancy and birth.

The University of East Anglia, which led the analysis, report thatCGM devices improved the health of new babies, with a lower rate of admissions to neonatal intensive care units for than one day (27%) observed among CGM users compared to finger prick testers (43%).

This new study used a cost-effectiveness analysis to reveal the cost of standard care using a CGM. It was based on direct costs of antenatal care with and without CGMs.

“For a publicly-funded healthcare system like the NHS, we cannot afford not to provide CGM during pregnancy in mothers with type 1 diabetes,” said lead researcher Dr Helen Murphy.

“It costs £2,500 more not to provide CGM, because CGM is more effective [than capillary blood glucose monitoring]. It falls well within the NHS willingness to pay threshold with an incremental cost effectiveness ratio of minus £1500 from a newborn perspective.”

The findings of the cost-effectiveness study were presented at American Diabetes Association’s 2019 Scientific Sessio, held earlier this month.

Dr David McIntyre, director of obstetric care at Australia’s University of Queensland, moderated the session at the conference which took place in in San Francisco.

He said: “The CONCEPTT health economic analyses clearly show substantial clinical benefits for reasonable costs with the use of CGM during pregnancy. The maternal costs are modest for so-called first world health systems.

“Most impressively, the savings in neonatal health care costs, driven by reduced length of stay in neonatal intensive care settings, are substantial. The remaining challenges revolve around how to equitably deliver this new best practice standard of care to women with type 1 diabetes, across a broad range of health care settings.”

Last year NICE announced it would review its guidelines for women with type 1 diabetes during pregnancy based on findings from the CONCEPTT trial.

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