FreeStyle Libre technology delivers significant health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes

By Editor
4th October 2023
Continuous glucose monitoring, Good practice Type 2 diabetes

The use of the FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring system is associated with significant reductions in HbA1c, new data from has revealed.

Abbott has also announced that the FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system reduces the number of hospital admissions for people living with type 2 diabetes on both multiple daily injection (MDI) and once-daily (basal) insulin therapy.

These findings were presented at the 59th Annual European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) meeting, which is currently being held in Hamburg.

CGM is widely recognised as standard of care technology for people living with type 1 diabetes, and there is a growing consensus in support of CGM use for people with type 2 diabetes.

This comparative study of the Swedish National Diabetes Register provides further evidence that CGM technology can be effective in helping people with type 2 diabetes better manage their condition.

In the absence of appropriate monitoring and care, uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications affecting the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nervous system.

According to the Swedish national study, 2,876 people who were receiving multiple daily insulin injections saw a 0.34 per cent reduction in HbA1c when using the FreeStyle Libre system compared to people using traditional blood glucose monitoring (BGM), and 2,292 people on basal-only insulin saw a 0.32 per cent reduction in HbA1c when using the FreeStyle Libre system, with or without other glucose-lowering drugs.

All results were maintained at 24 months. The study also showed a significant 49 per cent reduction in hospitalisations for severe hypoglycaemia for those on multiple daily insulin injection therapy compared to traditional blood glucose monitoring (BGM).

Dr David Nathanson, associate professor at the Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said: “The results of this real-world study add to the weight of evidence demonstrating the benefits of the FreeStyle Libre system in reducing HbA1c, serious diabetes-related events and hospitalisations among people with type 2 diabetes.

“It is particularly encouraging that the HbA1c reductions were consistent across those who were receiving multiple daily injections and those on basal-only insulin, demonstrating its benefit in a wide variety of people with diabetes.”

The results reinforce similar findings from the Real World Evidence of FreeStyle Libre (RELIEF) study published in the Journal of Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics and presented at last year’s EASD meeting.

The retrospective study of the French national health claims database showed the use of the FreeStyle Libre system significantly reduced the rate of hospitalisations due to acute diabetes events for people living with type 2 diabetes on once- daily insulin therapy.

Following the RELIEF study, the FreeStyle Libre 2 system has since become the first and only continuous glucose monitoring system to be nationally reimbursed in France for people who use once-daily insulin.

FreeStyle Libre 2 was previously covered only for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who require intensive insulin therapy.

The expanded reimbursement follows similar reimbursement coverage expansions for its technology in Japan and the US, which together represents three million more people living with diabetes who are now eligible to use FreeStyle Libre technology to manage their condition.

Neil Harris, general manager for Abbott’s diabetes care business in the UK and Ireland, said: “The compelling body of evidence demonstrates what we already know – that FreeStyle Libre technology is making a significant difference for people living with diabetes.

“It empowers people with actionable insights so they can make informed decisions about food, medicine and behaviours that affect glucose levels.”

He added: “Recent decisions from health authorities in other countries to expand reimbursement of glucose sensors like the FreeStyle Libre system to people with type 2 diabetes on basal-only insulin therapy are an important step forward.

“We are committed to broadening access to sensing technology for the millions of people with diabetes that could benefit from it.”

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