Canada approves Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 for adults and children with diabetes

More than 11 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes, making up 29% of the country’s population.
By Mallory Hackett
11:47 am
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More than 11 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes, making up 29% of the country’s population.

Abbott’s continuous glucose monitoring system, the FreeStyle Libre 2, has been approved in Canada for adults and children four years and older with diabetes.

The FreeStyle Libre 2 system continuously measures glucose data every minute and can automatically alert users when their glucose is high or low without needing to scan the sensor.

It is worn on the back of the user’s upper arm for up to 14 days and comes with a corresponding app, FreeStyle LibreLink. The app allows users to see their glucose reading, trend arrow and eight-hour history. They can seamlessly share data with their physicians or family members.

Canadians can purchase the system in the coming months at the same price as the original FreeStyle Libre, and certain residents of Ontario and Quebec are eligible for partial or full reimbursement.

WHY THIS MATTERS

More than 11 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes, making up 29% of the country’s population, according to Diabetes Canada

Diabetes currently accounts for $3.8 billion in direct costs to Canada’s healthcare system and is expected to increase to $4.9 billion in the next 10 years.

It is also associated with premature death, increased risk of hospitalization, symptoms of depression, vision loss, amputations and high out-of-pocket medical costs, according to Diabetes Canada.

In clinical trials, the FreeStyle Libre system has shown to increase glucose monitoring frequency and reduce time spent in hypoglycemia for up to six months while exhibiting no statistically significant increase in A1C, according to Abbott.

It also yields significant cost savings for diabetic care compared to traditional fingerstick testing, according to a study in US Endocrinology. Researchers found that the cost of care for individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes who used the FreeStyle Libre 14-day system was 61% and 63% less than those who use the fingerstick method.

THE LARGER TREND

The FreeStyle Libre 2 was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this June.

Not long after that, Abbott got a CE Mark for its FreeStyle Libre 3 in the European Union. This latest version is smaller than previous versions – about the size of two stacked U.S. pennies, according to the company.

European regulators also recently cleared the way for the Libre Sense for sports use. The biosensor provides CGM to help athletes understand the efficacy of their nutrition choices on training and competition.

Outside of diabetes management, Abbott scored an Emergency Use Authorization for a rapid coronavirus test that costs $5. The test, which is designated for use by healthcare professionals at approved point-of-care facilities, includes the test card, the extraction reagent, nasal swabs, a positive control swab, a negative control swab, a product insert and a procedure card.

ON THE RECORD

"For the millions of Canadians with diabetes, Abbott's next-generation FreeStyle Libre 2 system expands on the life-changing capabilities of our original FreeStyle Libre system with enhanced accuracy, optional alarms and [is] now available for children," said Marie-Flore Nabor, general manager of Abbott's diabetes care business in Canada, in a statement.

"This latest technology will transform the way diabetes is currently managed. The FreeStyle Libre 2 is designed to simplify this often complicated-to-manage condition, and is accessible and affordable to people with diabetes in Canada."

 

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