Diabetes Tech Updates: March 2020
A flurry of diabetes tech announcements of late, so in no particular order here’s what I have been hearing.
Dexcom G6 CGM Receives TGA Approval for Use in Australia.
The Dexcom G6 CGM system finally received approval in Australia last week from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). This new iteration of the system has been much anticipated for it’s slimmer profile, 10 day sensor wear and zero calibrations.
Presumably Aussie distributor AMSL Diabetes will now be figuring out their launch plans. I imagine this might include obtaining supply of the product into Australia, training customer service teams and healthcare professionals, marketing and pricing the product, transitioning customers over from G5 to G6 as well as getting it listed on the NDSS. Mid-year seems to be a conservative estimate at the moment.
For those of us using rebatteried transmitters, I think it’s worth noting that the G6 is unlikely to be as affordable as the G5. My understanding is that the transmitter’s internal clock cannot be reset, meaning that the transmitter will automatically shut down after 110 days. Have a read of Katie’s post here. Given how popular rebatteried transmitters are here in Australia, I’ve no doubt that AMSL and Dexcom will be looking to phase out the G5 eventually.
Tandem’s Basal IQ Update to the t:slim Insulin Pump
The other piece of the puzzle is Tandem’s Basal IQ update. This is a low glucose suspend software update to the t:slim pump, used in conjunction with the Dexcom G6. The TGA has approved the pump (t:slim), the CGM (G6), and will now have to approve the system (Basal IQ).
We have no indication that Basal IQ has been approved in Australia as of yet. My understanding is that local distributors receive no insight into clinical trials or other considerations that get a system like Basal IQ approved by the TGA. Approval of the G6 would be a positive indicator that it’s not too much further away. I’m confident that it may be ready for a ‘surprise’ launch at the Australasian Diabetes Congress in August.
FreeStyle Libre on the NDSS
FreeStyle Libre is finally available through the NDSS for Aussies who meet the eligibility criteria for the CGM subsidy scheme. The hold up was due to Abbott and the Department of Health being unable to agree on a price for the product for almost a year.
As NDSS Access Points, pharmacies are now able to supply the Libre. This also gives consumers who don’t meet the eligibility criteria the option of purchasing the product through their local pharmacy. Many people have reported on social media that the pharmacy price of Libre is around $130 – which is around $37.50 more than ordering direct from Abbott. It would seem that Abbott obtained the price that they were seeking from the Department of Health over the past year.
That puts Abbott’s 14 day sensor roughly on par with the reimbursement that Dexcom receive for their 7 day sensor. I find it interesting that Abbott’s reimbursement is on par with CGM, given they have traditionally held the stance that their product is not a CGM and have lobbied for funding considerations separately to other systems. A lower reimbursement price may have enabled the subsidy to reach a wider group of people.
Mylife Diabetescare/Ypsomed YpsoPump
I caught up with my local rep from Mylife Diabetescare at the Young Adult Diabetes Committee’s event over the weekend. The company is considering (but not yet confirmed) moving away from the Mylife Diabetescare brand and using the more well known ‘Ypsomed’ brand. Ypsomed is the manufacturer of the YpsoPump and consumables, Mylife Diabetescare is the branding applied to the products. I think…
A CGM partner is expected to be announced this year. My understanding is that this will allow the user to integrate CGM data into the Ypsomed app, rather than an update to the handset. Ypsomed’s cloud based data management software also now has the ability to connect to Diasend, which was something I specifically remember trying to do when I trialled the pump in 2018.
Finally, I’m still waiting on greater choice of infusion sets, which is what would get me back onto the YpsoPump. I’m told that they’re on the way. I would also love to see an update to the app so that syncing pump data isn’t as slow!
AccuChek meters in Woolworths supermarkets
Last week, Roche sent through a media release indicating that select blood glucose monitoring products will be available in Woolworths supermarkets from March. The products include AccuChek 5 Instant Blood Glucose Meters, Instant Test Strips and Softclix lancets.
The product range focusses on glucose monitoring products that are not currently subsidised through the NDSS. My understanding is that the target market may be people who cannot access these products as easily – such as people with type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes or people who may be at risk of diabetes.
Kudos to having more choices and greater access!