Late-Breaking Data Demonstrate Abbott's FreeStyle® Libre System Supports Health Equity for Millions of Americans Living with Diabetes


ABBOTT PARK, Ill., June 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) today announced late-breaking data that showed FreeStyle Libre, the world's leading7 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, can support health equity through access to more affordable, life-changing technology for Americans living with diabetes, including those in underserved communities. 

Presented at the American Diabetes Association® (ADA) 81st Scientific Sessions, the data demonstrate meaningful outcomes for people with diabetes using FreeStyle Libre system, including reductions in HbA1C levels, acute diabetes events and all-cause hospitalizations1,2. Globally priced at a third of the cost of other CGMs3, the FreeStyle Libre technology is widely available to people with diabetes, reaching more diverse and at-risk populations than other systems. Notable findings include:

  • FreeStyle Libre users reflect the diverse population of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes (Abstract 67-LB, Abstract 68-LB): In comparative real-world data for U.S.-only matched patient groups, the FreeStyle Libre system was shown to achieve the same health benefits, including reductions in HbA1C levels and acute complications (hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia), while being accessible to a greater population of people with diabetes compared to other competitor CGM systems. Demographic data from these studies show that FreeStyle Libre users more closely represent America's diverse type 1 and type 2 diabetes population, including older people, those living in rural areas, people of color and those with higher rates of comorbidities.
  • Increased use of CGM could save Medicaid millions annually while reducing complications (Abstract 136-LB): Using a CGM compared to traditional blood glucose monitoring with fingersticks can reduce potentially harmful and expensive complications, leading to an overall cost savings for individuals living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Cost analysis data showed that increasing the population of FreeStyle Libre users by 10% could save the Medicaid budget $23 million in one year due to the reduction in complications.

"Abbott is helping to close the health disparity gap for the millions of people living with diabetes. We designed FreeStyle Libre system to be broadly accessible to all those who need it, no matter a person's income level, race or background," said Mahmood Kazemi, M.D., divisional vice president, global medical and scientific affairs and chief medical officer, Diabetes Care, Abbott. "This new data adds to the unparalleled clinical evidence and real-world data from more than 1 million users demonstrating the positive impacts — in both health and equity — that come from the significant cost-savings of Abbott's life-changing continuous glucose monitoring technology."

Supporting Health Equity

Despite technological advancements in diabetes care, health inequity is increasing across many underserved populations, including low-income families, individuals with disabilities, older adults and people of color. Individuals with diabetes span a diverse population and it is critical that everyone living with diabetes has access to affordable and easy-to-use CGM systems that work. 

More than 75 million Americans rely on Medicaid8. This often-overlooked population is twice as likely to be living with diabetes and CGM access is limited by many state Medicaid programs. The median percentage of Medicaid beneficiaries with HbA1c of more than 9% (indicating poor control of diabetes) is about 39%9, more than double the corresponding national average of 16%10.  

"For millions of people living with diabetes, systemic disparities are limiting access to healthcare resources, diabetes education, care and technology," said James R. Gavin III, MD, PhD, clinical professor of medicine at Emory University and chief medical officer of Healing Our Village, Inc. in Atlanta. "By opening the vital gateway to access, including to technology to monitor glucose continuously, we can drive improved health outcomes, stabilize glucose levels and keep people out of the hospital."

To further address the health and economic disparities, Abbott committed $5 million over three years to support the ADA's Health Equity Now initiative that champions the right for all people with diabetes to access better care and the latest medical advances. This includes community initiatives and efforts to support low-income Americans – of which more than 75% are made up of people of color – with access to the latest technologies. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has brought increased attention to the significant health disparities faced by millions of people from low-income and underserved communities across America, and has put a spotlight on the additional challenges faced by the particularly underserved population with diabetes," said Tracey D. Brown, chief executive officer, American Diabetes Association.

"Access is at the center point of how we can bridge the inequity gap for people with diabetes. Everyone living with diabetes should be able to lead healthy, full lives and that begins with ensuring widespread access to the latest technologies, including continuous glucose monitoring technology."

About the FreeStyle Libre Portfolio: 
Abbott's FreeStyle Libre portfolio, the world's leading7 continuous glucose monitoring system, has changed the lives of more than 3 million people across more than 50 countries11 by delivering breakthrough technology that is accessible and affordable. FreeStyle Libre provides glucose readings and trends every minute through a sensor that is worn on the back of the upper arm and scanned with a reader or phone, eliminating the need for fingerstick12. Abbott has secured partial or full reimbursement for the FreeStyle Libre system in 38 countries, including France, Ireland, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.

FreeStyle Libre 14 day system: Failure to use FreeStyle Libre 14 day system as instructed in labeling may result in missing a severe low or high glucose event and/or making a treatment decision, resulting in injury. If readings do not match symptoms or expectations, use a fingerstick value from a blood glucose meter for treatment decisions. Seek medical attention when appropriate or contact Abbott at 855-632-8658 or for safety info.

FreeStyle Libre 2 system: Failure to use FreeStyle Libre 2 system as instructed in labeling may result in missing a severe low or high glucose event and/or making a treatment decision, resulting in injury. If glucose alarms and readings do not match symptoms or expectations, use a fingerstick value from a blood glucose meter for treatment decisions. Seek medical attention when appropriate or contact Abbott at 855-632-8658 or for safety info.

About Abbott:
Abbott has a clear focus on innovating for access and affordability, with the goal of improving the lives of more than a third of all the people on Earth each year through its 2030 Sustainability Plan. An important part of this work is advancing health equity, working side-by-side with the communities we serve to address health disparities and tackle barriers to health. This includes efforts across our business and in partnership with others to expand access to technology, quality care and nutrition, and to advance STEM and health education to inspire a diverse and innovative next generation. To learn more, please visit 

Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 109,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.

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Miller et al. A Comparison of Continues Glucose Monitors in Reducing A1c in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: FreeStyle Libre® and Dexcom
Hirsch et al. Acute Diabetes Events and All-Cause Hospitalizations among Continuous Glucose Monitoring Device Recipients with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: A Comparison of FreeStyle Libre® and Dexcom
Based on a comparison of list prices of the FreeStyle Libre portfolio versus competitor CGM systems. The actual cost to patients may or may not be lower than other CGM systems, depending on the amount covered by insurance, if any. 
Frank et al. Budget Impact of Adding Flash Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) to Medicaid  5 Data on file, Abbott Diabetes Care.
Fokkert M, van Dijk P,Edens M, et al. Improved wellbeing and decreased disease burden after 1-year use of flash glucose monitoring (FLARENL4). BMJ Open Diab Res Care.
Data on file, Abbott Diabetes Care. Data based on the number of users worldwide for the FreeStyle Libre system compared to the number of users for other leading personal use, sensor-based glucose monitoring systems. November 2020 Medicaid & CHIP Enrollment Data Highlights Comprehensive Diabetes Care: Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) Poor Control (>9.0%): Ages 18 to 75. Accessed April 20, 2021.
10 Carls G. Huynh J. Tuttle E, et al. Achievement of glycated hemoglobin goals in the US remains unchanged through 2014. Diabetes Ther 2017;8:863–873.
11  Data on file, Abbott Diabetes Care.
12  Fingersticks are required if your glucose alarms and readings do not match symptoms or when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol during the first 12 hours 


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