Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) has announced that it has been granted reimbursement Glucose Monitoring technology called FreeStyle Libre by Japan’s Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare (MHLW).
The reimbursement for the glucose monitoring technology has taken effect as of September 1. FreeStyle Liber will be made available to more than 1 million people in Japan. It is recommended for persons above 6 years old with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The glucose monitoring is expected to make a significant positive impact on the lives of people living with diabetes. Japan has more than 9.5 million people living with the condition making it one of the countries with the highest rates of diabetes cases.
“This is a significant development for the Japanese diabetes community – both for the people living with the condition and for their healthcare professionals,” stated Jared Watkin, the senior VP of diabetes care at Abbott.
Watkin also pointed out that FreeStyle Liber has had a significant impact globally by helping people with diabetes. The company was pleased with the decision made by the MHLW to make the glucose monitoring technology available to those who need it through government reimbursement.
The FreeStyle Libre system uses a small sensor fitted at the back of the upper arm to carry out a scan, thus helping to overcome the challenges that diabetes patients face in routine finger sticking. Additionally, the system does not require finger stick calibration. The data collected by the device can also be used to give users a better understanding of their glucose levels via the Ambulatory Glucose Profile (AGP). The latter is a chart that shows the patterns, trends and glucose levels over time.
AGP is also used by doctors to determine the condition of the patients, thus helping them to make more informed treatment decisions. Dr. Yoshihito Atsumi, the director of the diabetes center at the Eiju General Hospital stated that frequent glucose measurement for people with diabetes is the best way to ensure effective management of the condition. He added that most of his patients find it challenging to keep up due to stigma, pain and the inconvenience of using finger sticks.
Abbott stock closed the latest trading session on Thursday at $50.94.