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Reimbursement begins for new blood glucose monitoring system

In a recent circular to pharmacists, the HSE outlined that the blood glucose management system has been approved from 1 April.

“The FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system is intended to be used as an alternative to current glucose monitoring methods for people who administer multiple daily injections of insulin,” Ms Anne Marie Hoey, Assistant National Director, Primary Care Reimbursement and Eligibility, explained in the circular.

“Due to the budget impact associated with this medicine, PCRS is introducing a reimbursement application system. This will be confined to children and young adults who require multiple dose injections of insulin in the first instance, with a review after 12 months. The reimbursement application can be made by the consultant endocrinologist responsible for the initiation of treatment through the PCRS hospital application suite.”

The circular also notes that each sensor is being reimbursed at a cost of €55.35 and that reimbursement is available for 26 sensors per patient per year, which equates to a cost per patient per year of almost €1,500.

In January, Minister for Health Simon Harris announced that approval had been granted for the sensor after the HSE’s Health Technology Assessment Group recommended that reimbursement should be considered for certain conditions.

“This innovative device will allow blood glucose levels to be monitored without invasive finger prick testing, which will be very welcome news for both parents and children.  I know that some patients have to test their glucose levels up to 10 times a day and I hope that inconvenience and discomfort can be minimised for as many children and young adults as possible,” Minister Harris remarked in January.

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