Press Release

Good news for children and teenagers with diabetes – approval given to reimburse blood glucose management system Freestyle Libre – Harris

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD today welcomed the HSE’s decision to reimburse Freestyle Libre for children and young adults

Speaking today, Minister Harris said “Almost 190,000 people in Ireland have diabetes.  This is a chronic disease that takes a lot of management, but we have made huge strides in treating and managing diabetes here and I’m very happy today to welcome the HSE’s decision to reimburse Freestyle Libre for children and young adults.”

“This innovative device will allow blood glucose levels to be monitored without invasive finger prick testing, which will be very welcome news for both parents and children.  I know that some patients have to test their glucose levels up to ten times a day and I hope that inconvenience and discomfort can be minimised for as many children and young adults as possible.”

“This is another very positive step in the management of diabetes, along with the Diabetes Cycle of Care, which is a great example of how joined-up primary care and expanding the scope of general practice can be so effective in reducing hospital visits and admissions.  The Cycle of Care allows adult patients with Type 2 Diabetes, who hold a medical card or GP visit card, to be managed in the community, by their own GP and practice nurse, rather than in a hospital clinic.”

“We know from the National Healthcare Quality Reporting System (NHQRS) that hospitalisation rates that have decreased substantially for diabetes, and I want to see that downward trend continue.  My Department is progressing more work in the area – the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee (NCEC) prioritised the development of a Diabetes Type 1 clinical guideline for adults during 2017. The HSE’s National Clinical Programme for Diabetes plan to complete this guideline and submit to the NCEC for quality assurance early this year, and I hope to see it published soon after.”

“The HSE will now make arrangements for the reimbursement of Freestyle Libre on an individual basis where specific criteria are satisfied in line with the recommendations of the Health Technology Assessment Group and I look forward to its being available for patients in the coming months.”

ENDS

Notes to the Editor

An Expert Group, under the auspices of the HSE’s Health Technology Assessment Group, has considered the Free Style Libre application by Abbott for addition to the Reimbursement List in line with the Health (Pricing and Supply of Medical Goods) Act 2013.

The Health Technology Assessment Group recommended that reimbursement for the device should be considered, subject to certain conditions (see here for further information).

The HSE has accepted its recommendations in principle and will be developing an application suite for hospital clinicians to use when proposing suitable patients for consideration of individual reimbursement support.

This will be confined to children and young adults who require multiple dose injections of insulin in the first instance, with a review after twelve months. The HSE has indicated that it will take some months to build the application suite for reimbursement support which will be endocrinologist / Hospital Clinic initiated.