Inquiry hears of healthcare savings and better outcomes for t1

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Research out of Canada and the UK shows people living with type 1 diabetes achieve better health outcomes and save health systems millions of dollars every year if they have access to flash glucose monitoring.

Parliamentary inquiry

An Australian parliamentary inquiry has been urged to overhaul medical device approval processes to allow more timely and affordable access to devices such as flash glucose monitoring systems.

The makers of the FreeStyle Libre device, Abbott, said about 25,000 patients with type 1 diabetes are accessing devices through the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS).

70,000 more people need Libre access

In a submission to the Australian House of Representatives inquiry into approval processes for new drugs and novel medical technologies in Australia, the company has called on the government to expand FreeStyle Libre access on the NDSS to a further 70,000 people with type 1 diabetes who are currently denied access because they do not have a concession card.

Without subsidy, the device currently costs the user about $50 per week, or $2600 per year.

Savings to healthcare

The company said the government needed to look beyond the immediate costs of the device and take into account savings in other areas of healthcare.

They noted that many other countries such as the UK and Canada have expanded access to all people with type 1 without restriction, and had seen substantial savings in other healthcare and society costs.

“The FreeStyle Libre portfolio reduces government resource utilisation including expensive hospitalisations caused by hypoglycaemia, hyperglycaemia, diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA) and other diabetes complications as noted from research post-reimbursement in the United Kingdom,” the company wrote.

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