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Tim Dunn Part 3, The High Cost of a CGM

In part 3 of this Exclusive Interview, Tim Dunn addresses ways for patients to handle the cost of a CGM in a talk with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed.

Tim Dunn, Ph.D., is the director of Clinical and Computational Research and an Abbott Volwiler Research Fellow.


Transcript of this video segment:

Freed: Obviously the cost involved, and it’s more expensive if I went to the drugstore and bought a blood glucose monitor in 50 strips; it’s obviously going to be more expensive than that. So, how do you address that?

Dunn: Well, we do have programs in place. In terms of reimbursement, it is covered. It is currently the only factory calibrated system available through the Medicare system, so that’s an ongoing area of focus. Plus we do also support that, again, with one of our posters is focused on what is the health care cost saving or what’s the cost savings that then can translate to health care systems understanding the value of the system, of the FreeStyle Libre system, to help patients get better control. And it is an ongoing area of focus for us of making sure it accessible and affordable for patients.

Freed: So, you’ve shown that over the long period of time, it’s actually less expensive than checking five to ten times a day.

Dunn: Exactly.

Freed: So, they can actually save money and they can improve their health.

Dunn: Right.

Freed: So, what’s going to happen to your FreeStyle blood glucose monitors in the future?

Dunn: The traditional strip-base monitors? Well, we do see our future as being based around sensors. We’re going to — the strips have a role today and we see that playing out, but at the same time we do see sensors being the next generation of where people can really get good access to their glucose.

Freed: Now, you’ve had this technology years before anybody else in the industry, I think it was the Navigators.

Dunn: That’s right.

Freed: And yet you tried to get FDA approval for maybe something that wasn’t going to happen. Looking back, would you have changed what you were asking for from the FDA?

Dunn: I mean, you’re right there’s a long history of this technology. I mean, the original patents around the wired enzyme technology which is really the core different technologies in the FreeStyle Libre system was also in the FreeStyle Navigator system. It was originally created in the mid-90s. And so, we’ve had this long development process that has taken hundreds of people’s effort, thousands perhaps. And I think looking back, it’s always easy to think how you might have done things differently. But I do think it was necessary for us to go through the Navigator experience to really get some key learnings around what kind of performance was necessary for patients, what kind of price was acceptable, and what kind of manufacturing capability we needed and how to do that. And it really set the stage for then to the big evolution to FreeStyle Libre in terms of the factory calibration, the system, and more affordable cost, and ease of use, real focus on that.

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