FUDiabetes

FreeStyle Libre cost?

So got a call today; Dexcom is definitely not happening for me this year. I then asked my doc for a prescription for the FreeStyle Libre, as I thought maybe it would be a decent cost-effective option until we could get things straightened out with insurance. I got a call from the pharmacy that the reader is $65 and sensors (4) are $150/month. That sounds very similar to what I read would be out of pocket costs here in the US, and my pharmacist said this was with insurance coverage. Has anyone else used one, and was it really this much per month for sensors? How does that compare to Dexcom sensor cost - it sounds like a large amount to me because I’ve never owned a CGM, but maybe it’s not that’s out there?

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@kenrick has been using them for a while

I haven’t used it but I had a doc apt yesterday and my doctor was ecstatic about these going so far as to say he thinks they might totally beat out all strips in terms of what’s covered by insurance over the next few years. He had reviewed all the laboratory data and accuracy studies and all that crap and was very impressed with them. I did get the distinct impression that he doesn’t understand that laboratory results aren’t what we here in the real world are working with…

He was saying they’d be cheaper overall than strips. Which is why he thinks once they catch on insurance will opt to cover this system instead of strips for people testing multiple times per day…

He kept saying the receiver is only $70 and the sensors are only $20 each cash price , I don’t know where he’s getting that from— before they were approved here in the USA I know people were paying way more than that… but then again they were essentially internationally smuggling them so I’m sure that adds to the cost

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Doesn’t match up with anything I am seeing. Looks more in the range of $50 ~ $100 per sensor.
$20 for a sensor would be dirt cheap.

Maybe he’s talking about the “real price” to insurers I don’t know. It was an eyebrow raiser when he kept saying it

I agree with Thomas. @Sam, your doctor must be smoking pot. The only way to get it for that price is to have friends buy them for you in India.

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Or maybe he’s just ahead of us in the news. Has anyone actually bought them from a USA source since approved?

His numbers are in line with diatribes estimates.

I never actually had been interested in the past, but I’m starting to think it might be a good option for me. A full time cgm is overkill for me and I don’t like it… this sensor is less intrusive and cheaper (it seems). Maybe I’ll give it a go…

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I just got a prescription for the Libre today. I’m hoping my insurance will cover them (my plan does not cover CGMs). My endo said the out of pocket cost for me would be $49 for the receiver and $89 per sensor (this is in Canadian dollars). For me, the cost would be equal to or more than I spend on the Dexcom with stretching supplies (receiver lasting >2 years, transmitter lasting ~13 months, sensors lasting ~1 month each).

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Your article quotes $40 per sensor, 10-day wear, which is equivalent to $56 per sensor for 14 days wear, which is the standard in the rest of the world. It is pretty close to what @Thomas was quoting: $50-$70 per sensor, 14-day wear (but the FDA approval was only for 10 days).

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So $40x3=120/ month … assuming that’s the real price and there’s are no backroom rebates… that’s likely lower than insurers are paying for most of our strips, although we’d have no way to know, since those are secret, so it’ll be interesting to see if his predictions come true that insurers start pushing frequent testers toward this instead of strips

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Interesting. I wonder why that is. Here in Canada it’s 14-day wear. And no fingerstick callibrations necessary.

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No calibrations necessary (or possible) here too it’s just the fda approved them differently vs the 10/14 days

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Not to be s spoil sport, but I wouldn’t count on Libre accuracy without calibration.

There have been feature requests for xDrip+ to accept and prices finger stick calibration for the Libre because of Libre accuracy problems.

Of course this is with the xDrip+ algorithm instead of using the Libre reader, but the raw data is the same.

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That is not cheap :frowning: Even in CA$

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Wow, I leave for an hour, and this thread blows up! @docslotnick, this is what I was just discussing with another t1 mom who used the Libre for 6 months. She said it was terribly innacurate and left scars on her arm from the adhesive. :scream: I would hate to spend over $200 only to find out I’d bought something essentially useless to me, if it really is that inaccurate.

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The Libre is linear through the human physiologic range which allows for one calibration done at the factory. I suspect the issue is that xDrip+ which uses the raw data, doesn’t take into account the original calibration information in its calculations. Also, the Libre like the Dexcom requires interstitial fluid, meaning that our leaner breathern will have all of the same issues they have with Dex.

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Yeah I wanted to wring my docs neck when he was telling me the MARD (mean absolute relative difference) is lower than almost any test strip system… yeah, that’s wonderful in a laboratory. If only I lived in a laboratory and had control solution for blood and interstitial fluid

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I think I’ll have better results if I used the libre on the man-boobs which it appears more conducive to than the Dexcom g5 sensor does

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A sensor lasts two weeks (or less, if it is bad). It could last a bit longer if you use a third party reader, but with the official reader it dies exactly in two weeks. So if you are paying $80/sensor you are looking at $160/month.

You are still going to need to do some finger pricks because you’ll probably want more accurate numbers if you are feeling high or low. It should at least be good enough to tell you you’re high or low though! If you want more accurate numbers for dosing, you might need to still finger stick anyway before meals. I guess I wouldn’t count on it as a way to replace test strips, but it should definitely reduce the number of test strips you’d need to use.

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If a sensor dies early (or falls off or is ripped off), does Abbott replace it for free?

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[/quote]
If a sensor dies early (or falls off or is ripped off), does Abbott replace it for free?
[/quote]

Yes, they are supposed to (I never actually got mine replaced because I got them through a third party)
I’m not sure what their policy is on if it gets ripped off though. Definitely if the sensor is bad.

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