I’ve been following the recent news about the FDA’s approval for Dexcom to market its new G6 continuous glucose monitor. I even listened to two podcasts interviewing Dexcom CEO Kevin Sayer recorded in the last few days.
The big issue for many, especially those who pay cash for their Dexcom CGMs, is that the G6 features a hard shut-off at 10 days. We won’t be able to restart the sensors like many have done over the years with the G4/G5 systems.
Why did Dexcom choose this absolute 10-day service life? Kevin Sayer, CEO of Dexcom, said that the company had to make that choice in order for the FDA to certify the G6 as a “no calibration required” system and that the user could make treatment decisions based on the CGM reading. Mr. Sayer said that this 10-day absolute shut-off was required by the FDA.
Now I realize that no normal person prefers to poke his/her finger as much as we diabetics have over the years. Getting a CGM that releases us from this onerous task is attractive. I get that.
What I’m wondering, however, is if Dexcom made a good trade-off. I, for one, would much prefer the ability to restart a CGM sensor for a second or even third session. I am lucky enough to enjoy good insurance coverage. Others who pay cash for their CGM use may very well be priced out of using the G6. A hard 10-day G6 shutoff will restrict access to many in our community.
I think Dexcom made a bad trade. I used to prick my fingertips 12-15 times per day. Fingersticking once or twice per day for calibration doesn’t seem like much of a cost to enable sensor restarts.
I’ve been using a Dexcom CGM since 2009. I will likely hang back with my G4 system instead of upgrading to the G6.