Abbott has received national reimbursement from the Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare (MHLW) in Japan for the FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring system effective September 1, 2017. The revolutionary system will be widely available to the more than 1 million Japanese people aged six and above with diabetes, both Type I and Type II, on insulin therapy.
Abbott's FreeStyle Libre system helps address the challenges of routine finger stick calibration for people with diabetes with a quick one-second scan over a small sensor that is worn on the back of the upper arm. In addition, no finger stick calibration is needed – a key differentiator from current continuous glucose monitoring systems. With the data from the device, users can have a better understanding of their glucose levels through the ambulatory glucose profile (AGP), a chart that provides a visual snapshot of glucose levels, trends, and patterns over time. The AGP also provides doctors with deeper insights to make more informed treatment decisions.
Two published clinical trials and real-world evidence from more than 50,000 users show that people who use the FreeStyle Libre system test their glucose levels an average of at least 15 times per day. The studies also show that people who scan more frequently spend less time in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) while having improved average glucose levels, demonstrating improved glucose control overall.
The FreeStyle Libre system was introduced across Europe in 2014, and is now available in 39 countries. Japan now joins a group of 16 countries that have partially or fully covered Libre, including large markets such as France and Germany. In the United States, the FreeStyle Libre system is currently under review by the US FDA.