Abbott touts FreeStyle Libre results in non-insulin dependent patients
A retrospective study showed that use of Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is associated with significant reduction in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels for people with type 2 diabetes on either long-acting insulin or non-insulin therapy. Results of the late-breaking study are similar to outcomes typically seen when adding insulin therapy to treatment regimens, indicating people may be able to manage their glucose levels with CGM technology instead of adding insulin, according to Abbott.
Results showed a 0.8% drop in HbA1c levels after 6 months use of FreeStyle Libre (from 8.5% to 7.7%) and 0.6% drop after one year (from 8.5% to 7.9%) — clinically significant reductions of average glucose levels over time, compared with the ADA’s recommended A1c goal of 7% for adults with diabetes. The greatest HbA1c decreases occurred among the non-insulin users with type 2 diabetes, including a 0.9% reduction at 6 months and 0.7% drop after 12 months. In people with type 2 diabetes on long-acting insulin, HbA1c reductions were 0.6% and 0.5% at 6 and 12 months, respectively.
“The real-world results are among the first studies that show use of the FreeStyle Libre system can deliver substantial reduction in HbA1c levels for those with type 2 diabetes, whether using insulin or not,” said co-lead investigator Dr. Eden Miller, a family practice physician at High Lakes Health Care (Bend, Ore.), in a news release. “These data highlight how use of Abbott’s continuous glucose monitor could be game-changing for people beyond intensive insulin users, translating to broader use of the technology to benefit all those living with diabetes, no matter where they are in the spectrum of care.”
The Abbott Park, Ill.-based company also touted the results of two other late-breaking studies of FreeStyle Libre use in people with type 2 diabetes not on intensive insulin therapy, such as bolus insulin.
One retrospective study found that the use of FreeStyle Libre by people with type 2 diabetes who were not on intensive insulin and who had poor glucose control was associated with a substantial decrease in HbA1c — the greatest reduction occurring in those with higher baseline HbA1c levels. Specifically, A1c levels decreased 0.99% after 6 months in those on long-acting insulin and 1.56% after 6 months in those not on insulin. The results imply that using FreeStyle Libre technology can have a similar impact to using insulin therapy, according to Abbott, meaning people could use the FreeStyle Libre system to manage their glucose levels instead of adding insulin.
The other retrospective study linked FreeStyle Libre to a 30% drop in acute diabetes events and a 13% reduction all-cause hospitalizations in patients with Type 2 diabetes not on intensive insulin therapy. Abbott touted these results as suggesting significant cost-savings compared with other companies’ CGM tech, noting that FreeStyle Libre is priced at a third of the cost of other CGMs.
A third study showed that Freestyle Libre use was associated with a considerable decrease in ketoacidosis-related hospitalizations — 52% for type 1 diabetes and 47% for type 2 diabetes. Researchers retrospectively analyzed diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) rates using ICD-10 codes on the French national claims database, among 33,203 people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and 40,955 people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) who used the FreeStyle Libre system between August 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. DKA rates were recorded in the year prior to the first FreeStyle Libre sensor claim and in the year after. The trial, known as the RELIEF study, is the largest study to date on the impact of the FreeStyle Libre system on rates of hospitalization for diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition that is generally preventable through close glucose monitoring.
“Over time, researchers around the world have generated unparalleled clinical and real-world evidence that reinforce the proven benefits of Abbott’s glucose sensing technology,” said Mahmood Kazemi, M.D., divisional vice president, global medical and scientific affairs and chief medical officer for diabetes care at Abbott. “These new data underscore how our wearable technology provides actionable information to deliver positive outcomes in anyone with diabetes, emphasizing the power of the FreeStyle Libre system to change countless lives among the millions of people with diabetes.”