Freestyle Libre became available on the NHS on 1st November 2017.
The expected cost of the Freestyle Libre device to the NHS is over £900 per patient per year of continuous use compared with £360 – £650 per patient per year for finger pricking (based on testing 4-8 times per day). Therefore, it is currently unaffordable and unsustainable to make it available for all people with diabetes, or even just the 3500 people with type 1 diabetes, in Leeds.
NHS Leeds CCG has worked closely with the diabetes specialists in Leeds to understand which groups of patients would gain most health benefit from using Flash Glucose Monitoring (Freestyle Libre), whilst keeping it affordable for the NHS. We have also considered our neighbouring health economies to ensure consistency of care across a wider footprint. Therefore we have to take account of how neighbouring CCGs and health economies are managing this device.
We now need to engage with and gain a consensus from a range of primary and secondary care clinicians in order to make a final decision.
The current situation re Freestyle Libre in Leeds is that it remains a RED* drug.
GPs should not initiate any prescriptions for Freestyle Libre.
Within secondary care it is being made available to selected patients with insulin pumps. These patients are considered on a case by case basis and are managed by the secondary care specialists.
Any change to this position will be communicated to GPs as soon as an agreement is reached, and the website will be updated to reflect this.
We have put together some frequently asked questions which you can find here.[* a RED drug can only be prescribed within the hospital setting and not by a GP.]