Cork North West TD, Aindrias Moynihan has called for the Free Style Libre Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring System (CBGM) and Sensors for adults living with diabetes to be made available for reimbursement under the Long term Illness Scheme.

“Seven months ago, approval for reimbursement was given for children and young adults, aged four to 21 years. At present, a cost benefit analysis is being carried out on this group of users to ascertain whether its use it value for money for the taxpayer.

“There are currently 20,000 adults suffering from Type 1 Diabetes in Ireland. Those suffering with Type 1 Diabetes have to monitor their blood glucose levels on a regular basis and currently need to perform invasive finger-prick blood testing up to 10 times a day. This process comes with a significant cost to Type 1Diabetes sufferers.

“The Free Style Libre device allows people to monitor their blood glucose levels easier and less invasively.

“The HSE has informed me by way of a parliamentary question reply that when children or young adults, previously approved for use, reach 21 years they will be allowed to continue using the device. This is a welcome move but I believe it needs to be rolled out to all people living with Type 1 Diabetes.

“By investing in pre-emptive care, such as the CBGM system, the HSE can lower the likelihood of complications, and their associated costs, while simultaneously giving diabetics a better quality of life.

“A 2016 CODIRE study concluded that the cost of treating diabetes in Ireland consumes 6.4% of annual health expenditure. Over 60% of the expenditure is spent on the complications of diabetes so ensuring better adherence to medication and treatment is vital for everyone.

“Of course, we need to ensure that it does deliver some value for money for patients, but we also need to remember the quality of life improvements that using this device can deliver for patients,” concluded Moynihan.