Abbott launches new Glucose Monitors to tackle soaring Diabetes Care

Plans are underway for American pharmaceutical company, Abbott to augment the manufacturing capacity for one of its most lucrative diabetes products- Libre.

According to reports of the company’s executives, Abbott plans to pave the way for the launch of FreeStyle Libre 2, claimed as a next generation device, approved by Europe and is presently undergoing the US regulatory review.

The company’s most popular diabetes product, Libre is allegedly used by 1.5 million people over the world. Abbott started the launch of diabetes care products by introducing affordable test strips and glucose meters.  In its latest announcement the company wishes to extend the use of its continuous glucose monitoring device (CGM) devices. The products are commonly sold to people affected with Type 1 diabetes and who benefit from a generous insurance cover.

In a statement with regards to the new launch, Jared Watkin, Abbott’s senior vice president for Diabetes Care, said that scale is a “huge part” of the company’s strategy for its glucose monitors. “When you’re making disposable diagnostic products, the more you can make, the lower the cost you can produce them at.”

Libre 2 allegedly has more features, some of which include alarms and notifications for too high or too low blood sugar levels. As per sources, the US price of the device will be same as its predecessor.

“It’s not good enough to bring this to a small, wealthy population. Diabetes is such a global epidemic that you need to bring products that can really make a dent in that,” Watkin commented.

Previously, CGMs were entirely used for people with Type 1 diabetes, as a result of the paucity of insulin in their bodies, patients need to be injected with blood-sugar which ultimately regulate the hormones to survive.  Type 2 diabetes which is commonly driven by lack of exercises, obesity and genetics thus requires close monitoring of blood glucose. Type 2 diabetes requires insulin which cannot otherwise be controlled by lifestyle changes and medications.

Among Libre users, 1 million belong to Type 1 diabetes group, whereas half a million come under the category of Type 2 diabetes.

Although not all diabetics need glucose monitors, “there is an element of scratching the surface at this point,” Watkin commented.  “The need to invest and bring up capacity is, we believe, going to be an ongoing activity for us,” he adds.

The device was launched in Europe in 2014 and three years later in the US. With FreeStyle Libre, people can monitor blood sugar levels without the need of daily finger sticks.

Moreover, Libre’s 14-day sensor is also durable. Abbott was one of the first companies to launch a product that could use routine finger stick tests to monitor senor’s readings. According to Dr. Roy Beck, an endocrinologist at the Jaeb Center for Health Research in Tampa, Florida, he said, Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre is “an excellent sensor”.

According to Abbott, its sensor has the ‘best-in-class accuracy’, in addition to optional alarms in the next generation Libre 2.

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