Mahmood Kazemi, MD: Effectiveness of FreeStyle Libre for HbA1c Reduction


A meta-analysis of 3 real-world studies into the effectiveness of Abbot's FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System at ADA 2019.

A recent study has found that Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System can be effective in helping diabetes patients monitor HbA1c levels.

The study, which was a meta-analysis of 3 real-world studies, determined that use of the system can significantly reduce HbA1c among type 2 diabetes patients in just 3 months. The results were presented at the American Diabetes Association 2019 Scientific Sessions in San Francisco, CA.

Each study involved in the meta-analysis involved adults on a basal-bolus insulin regimen for at least a year and had been using FreeStyle Libre for regularly for at least 3 months. Investigators found that after at least 3 months HbA1c was reduced by 0.9±0.05%.

Mahmood Kazemi, MD, divisional vice president, global medical and scientific affairs, Diabetes Care, Abbott, sat down with MD Magazine® to discuss FreeStyle Libre and what its effectiveness means for diabetes patients and their physicians.

MD Mag: What were the methods and findings of the meta-analysis into the effectiveness of Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System and what are the clinical implications of those findings?

Kazemi: So, with respect to diabetes, we know that there is 425 million people around the world living with diabetes and the vast majority of them have the type of diabetes that's called type 2 diabetes and, as a result, when we have Abbott's FreeStyle Libre platform that's been used in people with diabetes now for approximately 5 years it's been available. We had a keen interest in seeing how this technology could also help people living with type 2 diabetes and this is what really spurred these particular data that you're mentioning that we're presenting here at the American Diabetes Association is our interest in taking a look and seeing how these data reflect what's happening in users of the technology who have type-2 diabetes.

So, the actual data comes from 3 countries. From Germany, France, and Austria and it involves 363 users and the way that data was collected is that we look to see in these real-world users of this technology what they're starting hemoglobin a1c is which is an measure their average glucose and then looked at several months after beginning use where their hemoglobin a1c ended up and when we did that we found that on average the reduction in hemoglobin a1c was almost 1% and that actually is quite a big deal because generally we see that type of reduction mostly with pharmacologic agents and here we are using a technology that doesn't actually have a physiologic effect itself but which allows the user to understand what's going on with their own diabetes control and thereby make better decisions in their management. That's leading to this rather significant reduction in a1c and that translates just so you have a reference to about risk reduction of about 30% in terms of the risk for long-term diabetes-related complications as a result of that a1c reduction.

So, it has really a significant clinical impact in terms of the care of people living with diabetes and we're very excited that we have this particular finding. We really already have seen that the technology is very user friendly and it's the type of thing that people really do want to continue to use. We have over one and a half million users worldwide and these data that we're presenting here at this particular conference, in addition to our clinical trials that we've seen recently which have shown also reductions in hemoglobin a1c in people with type 2 diabetes, and our overall real-world evidence which is from over half a million users together provide a very compelling picture of the power of technology in helping people with diabetes live better lives. So, truly life-changing from that perspective.

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