Offaly women launch campaign for life-changing Diabetes technology
Two Offaly women are to the fore in a campaign asking the government to make a life-changing Diabetes monitor available to all sufferers of the condition.
Edenderry's Davina Lyon and Belmont’s Grainne Flynn were among campaigners who presented a petition to TDs seeking to make the Freestyle Libre available to all people with Type 1 diabetes.
The petition, signed by more than 18,000 people, calls on the HSE to remove the age barrier criteria it has set and give access to this life changing technology to those who clinically need it most.
From early April 2018, the HSE has made the Freestyle Libre available only to children and young adults with Type 1 diabetes aged between 4 and 21 years.
Gráinne Flynn stated: “The Freestyle Libre provides more information than a finger prick meter about glucose levels to base our insulin dosing decisions on. This is more than just a game changer in diabetes, it empowers us to manage our diabetes better, reducing the number of dangerous low and high glucose levels."
"What frustrates me so much is that the HSE seems to have based its decision not on clinical evidence of improved quality of life but on cost saving reasons, indicating that, anyone with type 1 diabetes over age 21 is not worth investing
€62.60 per year," she added.
Other countries who have reimbursed the Freestyle Libre system have made this life changing technology available to people with diabetes based on clinical need. "Ireland is the only country who has placed an overarching restriction of age for 4 – 21 years and within this age group there are further restrictions in accessing this technology," Gráinne explained.
Donal Gilroy, a self-employed Energy Assessor from Sligo has been living with type 1 diabetes for 35 years, said: "I didn't realise that I was having dangerous low blood glucose levels every night at about 3am until I started using the Libre."
"I rarely woke during these abutmy long-term health was affected. Once we discovered them, myself and my consultant had a fuller picture of how my diabetes was being managed and we were able to address and eliminate the problems," he explained.
"I feel my health has improved significantly since using the Libre. Things like not having to finger prick 8 times a day and not constantly having sore fingers has improved the quality of my day to day life."
“All we are seeking is the opportunity for our Consultant Endocrinologists to be able to make a decision based on clinical need to prescribe the Libre to patients they feel need it most, regardless of age. It’s not a lot to ask,” Offaly woman Gráinne concluded.
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