Following new government guidance, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has plans to roll out automated insulin delivery systems.
Last month, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued guidance supporting automated insulin delivery for type 1 diabetes. NICE published guidance recommending hybrid closed-loop systems for eligible people with type 1 diabetes in England and Wales. This was well received in the diabetes community, with Insulet applauding the new guidance.
Hybrid closed-loop systems, like the Insulet Omnipod 5, deliver insulin automatically based on calculations from glucose monitors. Medtronic, Tandem Diabetes Care and Beta Bionics also compete with Insulet in the automated insulin delivery space. Medtronic also applauded automated insulin delivery recommendations from NICE in November.
According to the nonprofit Diabetes UK, NICE agreed to a request from the NHS to allow a phased, five-year implementation. This aims to guide the rollout and assist in delivering the technology, providing access to those who most benefit from it first. The UK has eyes on beginning the rollout in the early parts of this year. Local health systems currently have work underway on detailed plans, guided by national strategy.
More details on the insulin delivery tech rollout
Diabetes UK says that, from what it knows so far, the NHS will initially give priority to children and young people under 18 years old, plus those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This takes into consideration those who already use insulin pumps, as a transition could prove easier and require less training.
NHS plans to set up an oversight group to monitor the progress of implementation as well, which includes Diabetes UK. The nonprofit notes that framework determining which specific systems are distributed is still being finalized.
To support the rollout, NHS England committed to providing initial mobilization funding to support local plan development in 2024. The NHS also plans to provide funding to reimburse 75% of each Integrated Care Board’s estimated costs for the insulin delivery systems. Diabetes UK said it expects ring-fenced funding and reimbursement to ensure that it drives the rollout forward.
“We’re pleased to share that some secured funding will be provided by NHS England, to support a fair and equal rollout to those that are eligible,” Diabetes UK said in a LinkedIn post.