Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has highlighted the need for the inclusion of the Freestyle Libre blood sugar metre on the Long Term Illness Scheme as he believes it could be a life changing device for children with Type I Diabetes throughout the country.
Describing the device Eugene Murphy said “The Freestyle Libre eliminates 90% of finger prick blood tests per day for children with Diabetes. Given the number of children now suffering from diabetes and the cost to the state of managing this illness and the complications which arise, this is an excellent device. I was contacted by a mother of a young child in County Roscommon whose 14 year old daughter has had Type 1 diabetes since the age of just five. That’s almost 10 years of pricking her finger 10 times a day and 5 injections per day just to keep the child alive.
“Like all parents of children with diabetes, this mother also has to do regular blood sugar tests at night too around 2a.m. and 4a.m., which nearly always wake them up and disturb their sleep. With the Freestyle Libre, all you have to do is wave the reader near the sensor. It can even read through a duvet!
“Unlike a regular blood sugar meter the Freestyle Libre can show you so much more information, each time you scan you will see the blood sugar level along with an arrow that shows you which direction your blood glucose is heading. The sensor takes continuous readings even when you are not scanning” explained Deputy Murphy.
“The Freestyle Libre can be used with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetics but is perhaps of more use to Type 1 diabetics as they are all insulin dependent and therefore need to finger prick much more often than someone with Type 2 diabetes. The dangers of high or low blood sugars are constant when injecting insulin. Another benefit to the Freestyle Libre for Type 1 diabetics is the graphs that you can see which will help see patterns and make insulin adjustments to improve overall control, leading to less missed days at school, less hospital admissions and in the long term help prevent complications.”
Eugene Murphy went on to say “When I recently tabled a Parliamentary Question with the Minister for Health Simon Harris in relation to placing the Freestyle Libre on the Long Term Illness Scheme. Minister Harris informed me that the manufacturer of Freestyle Libre had not yet made a completed application to the HSE for reimbursement of the device under the Community Drugs Schemes. A health technology assessment may then be required to assess its clinical benefits and cost-effectiveness. I understand that the HSE are due to meet the manufacturer shortly.”
“However I now understand this week that the manufacturer has in fact submitted an application to the HSE and I will continue to press this case with the Minister as I believe this device could really be life changing for so many children with diabetes,” concluded Deputy Murphy.