Abbott (NYSE:ABT) today announce real-world data demonstrating reductions in hospitalizations associated with the FreeStyle Libre system.
The RELIEF study evaluated Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring (CGM). The findings included the significant reduction of the rate of hospitalizations due to acute diabetes events (ADEs). This study evaluated people living with type 2 diabetes on once-daily (basal) insulin therapy.
Findings were published in the Journal of Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics. Abbott presented data at the 58th Annual European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) meeting.
The retrospective study of the French national health claims database included 5,933 people with type 2 diabetes. The subjects followed a basal-only regimen using the FreeStyle Libre system. The study demonstrated that users had 67% fewer ADE-related hospitalizations one year after initiating the FreeStyle Libre treatment.
Data also showed a 75% reduction in hospitalizations for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is a condition during which glucose levels are too high. Abbott reported a 44% reduction in admissions for severe hypoglycemia (low glucose levels).
The study showed sustained reductions in hospitalizations over a two-year period of FreeStyle Libre system use. These outcomes occurred regardless of whether patients were under the care of diabetes specialists or general practitioners.
“The results of the RELIEF study highlight the value of FreeStyle Libre system in reducing serious diabetes-related events and hospitalizations among patients with type 2 diabetes on basal-only therapy,” said Professor Jean-Pierre Riveline, Centre Universitaire du Diabète et de ses Complications, Hôpital Lariboisière. “The reductions are similar to the results seen among the larger cohort of people with type 2 diabetes who were receiving multiple daily injections, suggesting that FreeStyle Libre technology therapy should be proposed as part of individualized care for patients with type 2 diabetes on basal-only insulin, not just people on intensive insulin therapy.”
Abbott study demonstrates the potential for improved adherence
The company said that RELIEF suggests that reducing hypoglycemia and DKA may improve adherence. Thus, it helps people with diabetes achieve glycemic targets. This is relevant for older people for whom hypoglycemia is associated with increased risks of falls, fractures, dementia and death.
Abbott believes the study results add to a growing body of evidence for FreeStyle Libre’s effectiveness. The device is currently reimbursed for all people with type 1 diabetes in most European countries. Those with type 2 need to meet certain criteria to garner reimbursement. These criteria include using insulin several times a day or having poorly controlled glucose levels.
“Moving from oral medications to insulin therapy can have a big impact on people with Type 2 diabetes, both mentally and physically. Although the switch is often necessary to manage glucose levels, it can be stressful to inject insulin, which comes with associated risks,” said Dr. Alexander Seibold, senior medical director in Abbott’s diabetes care division. “Our goal is to make diabetes care easier, which is why we offer solutions where people can check their actual glucose values and trends anytime on their smartphone or reader. This will help them catch rapidly changing glucose levels and allow them to make adjustments to their lifestyle or medications with much more confidence.”