Freestyle Libre4All 6 months Later

Over six months ago, the Irish health service, the HSE, launched the reimbursement of the flash glucose monitor, the Freestyle Libre, to people with type 1 diabetes aged between 5 and 21 years.

It has been almost 9 months since the HSE announced that the reimbursement scheme would only be open to people with type 1 diabetes aged between 5 and 21 years which led to over 19,000 people signing an online petition to remove this age restriction.

 18 April 2018 Diabetes Community presents petition to members of the Dail requesting that the HSE remove the age restriction on the Freestyle Libre Reimbursement Scheme. Photo credit David Coleman

18 April 2018 Diabetes Community presents petition to members of the Dail requesting that the HSE remove the age restriction on the Freestyle Libre Reimbursement Scheme. Photo credit David Coleman

In those nine months, the diabetes community has been relentless and determined resulting in 73 parliamentary questions asked by our TD’s in the Dail on “when the freestyle Libre will be available to all people with type 1 diabetes?”

(If you would like more background information on the Libre4All diabetes community campaign click on this link and on Davina Lyon’s website: A Diabetes Life.)

Even in the last two weeks, since the Dail resumed after the summer break, there have been a number more PQ’s submitted.

However, since early June, most, if not all, of the answers to the PQ’s have been “referred to the HSE for attention” and we are still waiting on replies.

The most recent response I can find is dated the 5th June, 2018 in answer to Deputy Joan Collins PQ No:23228/18.

The Question:

“To ask the Minister for Health, the date on which the monitoring of the cost efficiencies in test strip usage begin; and if he will request the HTAG to bring forward the review of FreeStyle Libre to a maximum of six months from the date the monitoring began”

The Answer:

“Strip Utilisation Monitoring will be conducted over the next six to twelve months at which stage, next steps will be determined by the HSE. Clearly, if the anticipated off set efficiencies do not materialise in the Irish context, the cost of further roll out to other cohorts will have to be carefully considered against other competing priorities.”

Now that we are at the six month mark, I feel that it’s not unreasonable to find out how that monitoring of the Finger test strip utilisation is going and if it indicates a cost or saving?

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CALL TO ACTION

If you are ready to act again, and can spare the time, I would like to ask you to email your local TD’s once more asking to submit a parliamentary question on your behalf as a person with type 1 diabetes over the age of 21 years

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EXAMPLE OF EMAIL:

Dear Deputy XXX,

Thank you so much once again for all that you have done to help people with type 1 diabetes get access to the Freestyle Libre.

I would like to request that you ask the Minister for Health the following parliamentary question on my behalf as a person with type 1 diabetes.

It is now been over six months since the Freestyle Libre Reimbursement scheme was launched on April 3rd to young people with type 1 diabetes aged between 5 and 21 years, can Minister Harris state if the finger test strip utilisation monitoring is indicating a cost or a saving and what the HSE has determined to be “the next steps” in the finger test strips utilisation monitoring?

And how are people who will turn 22 years in the next six months going to be treated if they don’t qualify for the reimbursement scheme any longer but would like to continue using it?

Yours sincerely,

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You will find the email addresses of your local TD’s here.

PS I am currently attending a Patient Advocacy Summit in Brussels, Belgium sponsored by NovoNordisk and will share ALL that I learn in my next post. If you would like some real time information from the summit follow me on @BloodSugrTrampoline on Twitter.