- A retrospective study has found people with Type 2 diabetes suffered 67% fewer hospitalizations related to their conditions one year after adopting Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre device.
- The study, details of which were published in the Journal of Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, used the French national health claims database to track the outcomes of 5,933 people.
- After switching to Abbott’s fast-selling FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitor, patients had fewer acute diabetes-related events such as severe hypoglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis.
Abbott’s attempts to grow sales of FreeStyle Libre in Europe have been limited by the reimbursement criteria imposed in many countries, which restrict use of the device to patients with Type 1 diabetes and those with Type 2 diabetes who use insulin several times a day or have poorly controlled glucose levels.
The study focused on a different cohort of patients, namely people with Type 2 diabetes who were on once-daily basal insulin therapy. Patients typically start on bolus therapy when oral medications are no longer effective at regulating their glucose levels but the switch is associated with increased likelihood of low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia.
By focusing on bolus insulin patients, the study provides evidence that there may be benefits to using FreeStyle Libre outside of the populations in which it is typically reimbursed in Europe, as Jean-Pierre Riveline, from the Centre Universitaire du Diabète et de ses Complications at the Hôpital Lariboisière, explained.
“The reductions are similar to the results seen among the larger cohort of people with Type 2 diabetes who were receiving multiple daily injections, suggesting that FreeStyle Libre technology therapy should be proposed as part of individualized care for patients with Type 2 diabetes on basal-only insulin, not just people on intensive insulin therapy,” Riveline said in a statement.
Riveline and his collaborators found 2.01% of people in the study were hospitalized for an acute diabetes event in the year before starting on FreeStyle Libre. The rate fell to 0.75% in the first year after starting on FreeStyle Libre and 0.60% in year two. The declines reflect a 75% reduction in diabetic ketoacidosis admissions and a 44% fall in severe hypoglycemia admissions.