JDRF, the type 1 diabetes charityNewsFreestyle Libre 2 approved for type 1 diabetes in the USA – what is it and when could NHS provision begin in the UK?

Freestyle Libre 2 approved for type 1 diabetes in the USA – what is it and when could NHS provision begin in the UK?

Posted on 17 June 2020

Sitting girl checks glucose levels by flashing device over FreeStyle Libre
The first FreeStyle Libre system is available on the NHS. After being licensed in the US, when will the FreeStyle Libre 2 be available in the UK?

The manufacturer of the FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring device this week announced health authorities have authorised its new FreeStyle Libre 2 System for use in the USA.

The first FreeStyle Libre system, manufactured by Abbott, was made available on the NHS in early 2019 after lobbying in the UK by JDRF and other organisations. The system allows people with type 1 diabetes to check their glucose levels using a sensor on the back of their upper arm.

Provision of the first FreeStyle Libre in this country is low but increasing: as of February 2020, just under 28% of people in England with type 1 diabetes who met the criteria had received the device on the NHS. There is high variation on rates of provision across the UK, and many users without NHS access are still having to buy it if they want to use it.

The FreeStyle Libre 2 system is now authorised in the US for use by adults and children aged four and up, following a thumbs-up from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In contrast to the first FreeStyle Libre flash glucose sensor, FreeStyle Libre 2 comes with customisable alarms which alert the user in the event of low and high glucose levels. These alarms work as sound or vibration and are an optional feature. The user then performs a ‘flash’ to learn the reading.

Abbott is currently launching the Libre 2 on a rolling basis throughout European countries, after receiving a CE mark in late 2018. There is currently no UK launch date, but JDRF will keep in touch with the manufacturer. JDRF and partners continue to push for access to type 1 diabetes technology for those who want and need it on the NHS.

Read about JDRF’s Pathway to Choice campaign here.

Read about flash glucose sensing here.

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