FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring

Topic Status Complete

FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring for the management of type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Outcome of the appraisal


Freestyle Libre shows promise for detecting and guiding the correction of hypoglycaemia in patients requiring multiple daily insulin dosing for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. The current evidence, however, does not support routine adoption. The use of Freestyle Libre may be considered as an alternative to finger-prick selfmonitoring of blood glucose in clinical circumstances where multiple testing (eight or more times per day) is required.

Why was this topic appraised?


HTW previously facilitated publication of an Interim Statement on the prescribing of FreeStyle Libre flash
glucose monitoring system for people with diabetes (October 2017). HTW has now undertaken an appraisal
of the clinical and cost effectiveness of FreeStyle Libre to provide guidance on its use to NHS Wales.

Plain language summary


HTW assessed the FreeStyle Libre Flash glucose monitoring system to help decide whether it should be made available to NHS Wales.

There can be dangerous consequences if people with diabetes have too much or too little sugar in their blood. The standard option for monitoring levels is finger-prick testing, carried out several times a day.

FreeStyle Libre measures sugar levels through a disposable sensor applied to the skin. The sensor lasts up to 14 days. The results can be read on a dedicated device or via a mobile phone app. It is intended as an alternative to finger-prick testing, though some finger-prick testing is still required to confirm some of the readings.

Based on the current evidence, HTW’s Guidance doesn’t support adoption of FreeStyle Libre for all people with diabetes. If a patient needs to test levels more than eight times a day, it may be appropriate to consider using FreeStyle Libre.

Evidence Appraisal Review

EAR004 (11.2018)

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GUI004 (11.2018)

View PDF

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