Abbott announced that the FreeStyle Libre system, the world’s leading continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology, is now available for adults and children (above the age of four) living with diabetes in India and women with gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), offering them the choice to check glucose levels anytime and anywhere, ultimately improving glucose control.
The FreeStyle Libre sensor measures glucose every minute in interstitial fluid through a small (5.5mm long) filament that is inserted just under the skin and held in place with a small adhesive pad. A quick scan of the sensor with a reader provides a real-time glucose reading on demand and a complete picture of a person’s glucose levels, without the need of painful, routine fingersticks or daily calibration, enabling meaningful lifestyle and therapy interventions.
FreeStyle Libre is designed for users to be able to check their glucose readings much more simply and frequently, and data show that higher scanning frequency of the technology has been shown to significantly improve time in optimal glucose range.
Kalyan Sattaru, general manager of the diabetes care business at Abbott, said, “Abbott’s revolutionary technology has changed the way millions of people manage diabetes globally and we are excited to bring this life changing technology to India. People with diabetes are at the centre of Abbott’s innovation. We are happy to launch FreeStyle Libre in India that gives millions of Indians access to to high-quality, accurate and pain-free diabetes technology for continuous glucose monitoring. This helps people make more informed health decisions allowing them to live fuller lives.”
India has the second largest diabetes population in the world, estimated to cross 100 million in the next decade. Healthcare providers are continuously upgrading guidelines of care and nutrition advice to ensure the condition is managed to avoid diabetes-related complications. Multiple international and national professional medical bodies have recommended CGM use for people with diabetes to target improved clinical outcomes including Indian professional bodies such as Diabetes India and The Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI).
RSSDI in its published recommendations in 2017 quotes that technology in diabetes management may be used in patients for better outcomes and to minimize complications. Evidence suggests that continuous glucose monitoring system can influence patients for diabetes self-care practices, which in turn results in glycemic control enhancement over a wide range of baseline therapies.
Dr Banshi Saboo, President, and lead member of the CGM panel at RSSDI said, “Monitoring glucose levels is a pre-requisite to ensure optimum glycaemic control. While glucometers are handy portable devices that help detect the single point-in-time capillary glucose, CGM devices provide complete visibility of the 24×7 glycaemic profile of the patient with diabetes up to 14 days. This technology helps fulfil an unmet need in diabetes helping patients make better choices in diet and exercise. In India, food has a social, cultural and emotional connect which leads to unrestricted diet despite doctor recommendations. While medication can help, people with diabetes must have a disciplined approach to managing the condition. In the current COVID environment, with reduced access to doctors and specialists, CGM empowers patients with actionable insights at hand that helps in remotely managing their glucose levels.”
Clinical trials and real-world data show that users of the FreeStyle Libre system have improved glucose control, decreased time in hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia as well as reduced hospitalizations, HbA1C levels (average glucose levels over three months), and improved quality of life. Greater time in range (TIR) has been linked to more stable glucose control, which could lead to fewer complications.
A lower TIR has been found associated with increased risk of progression to retinopathy and nephropathy by 64% and 40% respectively. Another recently released study demonstrates association of lower TIR with increased cardiovascular risk. With glucose levels under control, patients with diabetes as well as their treating HCPs can deal with their existing and potential complications in diabetes better.
Since its introduction in 2014, the FreeStyle Libre portfolio has revolutionized the way diabetes is managed globally by more than 2.5 million users in more than 50 countries.