Abbott has announced that its FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system is being given NHS approval and that it will be available on prescription in the UK later this year for people with Type 1 diabetes who intensively use insulin.
This will have a great impact on the wider community of people with diabetes allowing much more access to this useful device which to date has only been available to buy and hence relied on who could afford it as much as who needed it.
The FreeStyle Libre system enables you to monitor your glucose levels, without routine finger prick testing and calibration*, through the use of a small round sensor worn on the upper arm which is approximately the size of a £2 coin and automatically measures glucose for up to 14 days.
Clinical trials have shown that FreeStyle Libre users scan their glucose levels an average of 15 times per day and that individuals who scan more frequently spend less time in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), demonstrating improved glucose control overall.
The ease, convenience and discretion afforded by the product has led to strong support across patients, healthcare professionals and key opinion leaders.
The FreeStyle Libre system launched in the UK in late 2014 and has been available for users to purchase online. The FreeStyle Libre sensor components are manufactured at Abbott’s manufacturing and R&D site in Witney, Oxfordshire. There are currently 1,400 Abbott employees in the UK, and a further 150 jobs are due to be created over the next 18 months as a result of the adoption of the FreeStyle Libre system globally.
The FreeStyle Libre system has over 300,000 users globally and is available in more than 35 countries.
* A finger prick test using a blood glucose meter is required during times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels or if hypoglycaemia or impending hypoglycaemia is reported by the System or when symptoms do not match the system readings.
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