Abbott FreeStyle Libre with Medicare Coverage

Chicago Tribune: Medicare patients with diabetes gain coverage for prick-free glucose monitor

Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre System, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September and launched in U.S. pharmacies in November, has met the criteria for therapeutic continuous glucose monitoring used for coverage by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service, Abbott said.

Although I do not yet see a confirmation statement directly from Medicare. Which of course would be interesting. Particularly as it was the Medicare “fine print” in regards to the Dexcom coverage which continues to cause significant displeasure.

Hmmm… Wondering if Abbott is getting tricky with wording.
“… met the criteria …”
Actually is not QUITE the same as Medicare PROVIDING coverage.

Something smells just a little bit stinky here…


I wouldn’t be surprised, as Abbott is quite a bit better capitalized than is Dexcom, if you get my drift.

This is government after all.

With that point, I certainly would not be arguing. I understand reality.

However, without a corresponding statement/release from Medicare than this sounds like Abbott just playing games and basically rehashing the FDA approval. This would accomplish two items:

  1. Get people confused
  2. Play with stock prices

Neither one is playing fair or above board. Maybe I am wrong and just jumping to conclusions. If Medicare immediately comes out with a confirmation statement then great. Abbott is helping patients and I am just a paranoid freak.

If not then Abbott should be investigated for false and misleading claims by Medicare and the SEC.

Time will tell…


I actually just think this is an intermediate step that was achieved in their goal to get Medicare approval. It is certainly not the approval, but I think it means they weren’t rejected after the first review/gateway.


I doubt they even have something from Medicare. I think they simply are repeating what was included in the FDA approval back in September of 2017.

Granted I do tend to occasionally be on the skeptical side of things.


I tend to agree with @Thomas. I googled all permutations to find something about CMS or Medicare even considering the Libre for coverage and could only find the second hand press releases from Abbott.

I’m sure Abbott’s objectives are:

  1. Get every advantage for their product to become the dominant CGM on the market, thus enhancing their stock price.

  2. Put Dexcom out of business to corner the CGM market i.e. tank Dexcom stock prices.

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@Thomas, I tend to be a bit more trusting than you in general (not much more though, a matter of degree :slight_smile: ), but, in this case, I agree with your skepticism.


ha ha ha - Bet that doesn’t take much.

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ha !!! Good Luck on that. They would need to HAVE a cgm for that first. (ie - their device is FLASH not CONTINUOUS although they may try to insinuate and imply to the contrary but they will not outright state it.)

That is entirely plausible. I fully expect the Dexcom stock to recover from its dip today. DXCM (stock price) was down about 12% at its lowest today as compared to yesterday’s closing price. As of right now, DXCM has already recovered about 30% of its loss. If this was a premature announcement than I am certain DXCM stock will recover quite rapidly. Long term, I think this is a non-issue regardless.

The entire market for continuous (or flash) glucose monitors is large enough for multiple players. Competition is helpful and benefits all patients. Not to mention, choice is good and for whatever reason if somebody wants to pick the Abbott system over the Dexcom system then it is great to be given that choice.

Dexcom has an upcoming investor conference next week on Jan 9th at which point it would be shocking for Dexcom not to make mention of this in some fashion.
These events are usually live streamed if anybody feels like listening in. I find them very educational.


Competition is good for patients no doubt, but companies that are first to market sometime have difficulties transitioning to a market with competition. i.e. KCI in the wound vacuum market. Not saying Dexcom is going to have this difficulty, but being second to market has some advantages.

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In the last Dexcom quarter conference call they mentioned the competition with Libre quite a bit. One of their points was that for someone who uses the G5 with a phone and who restarts their sensors, the cost per day of the Dex really isn’t any higher than the cost of the Libre. They were talking specifically about Europe, where they don’t sell a Dex receiver to a new patient who intends to use the phone.

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Yes - it was very nice to hear the CEO being so public about the reality of how people actually use the system.

I much prefer that as compared to so many other companies that hide behind corporate double speak.


i am glad that i found this thread. i have tried the dexcom twice for periods of 1 year, and then again for about 3 months. the system NEVER worked for me and i was very very frustrated and disappointed.

i am glad that i have another option. and i dont own stock in either company, just my overall well-being. :smiley: