Freestyle Libre available?

Oh it was very accurate, my point was the Libre is accurate too and doesn’t require the 2 calibrations every day which is nice! In the end it came down to cost for me though, if I had insurance coverage I would still be using the Dexcom. The transmitter cost makes it very unaffordable to self-fund compared to the Libre. For people who can get 3+ weeks out of a sensor, Dexcom might work out cheaper. For whatever reason I was having trouble getting sensors to last much more than 1 week!

Yikes, I misread your earlier post! Sorry about that! I read one of your sentences to mean the exact opposite of what you actually wrote.

My shortest lasting sensors have been a couple at 8 days. 12 days is the longest, so I’m not getting the crazy-long use of a sensor that others get. My wife goes over 21 days. Cost is zero, though, due to medicare coverage for both of us, along with AARP insurance.

The Libre has been available in Australia for about a year but you can only purchase it online.

I did a one sensor trial in October prior to my Endocrinologist appointment. I also checked readings for many of the Libre scans with my Performa and Optium meters and at the same time, doing a scanner blood test. I also recorded all data on a spreadsheet that included time, insulin, meals and activity.

I found the Libre very helpful with the timing of injections and when I should not be making NovoRapid corrections. Because I experience many Hypos when I am working physically hard (I have good Hypo awareness at a Perfoma reading of 2.8 mmol/L), the directional arrow showed me when I could start work again. The graphics trends were also a good feature of the scanner although a bit slow compared to meter readings.

Although I gained good information from the trial, there are many areas, in my opinion where things could be improved.

The accuracy of the Libre scans compared to my meter readings near or in the Hypo zone plus readings above 9.5 mmol/L left a lot to be desired.

The Libre Blood Test could be very different to the scan and meter readings (Mainly always Lower in the Hypo Zone). There was correlation when readings were in the normal range and both meters read the same.

The Scanner and Scanner Blood Tests readings of under 2.8mmol/L were not correct because I can not drive a cane harvester at 2.8 mmol/L Performa reading and the Libre Scanner always read lower than the Performa in the Hypo range.

While cultivating small plant cane which requires a high degree of concentration, a scan showed 3.1 mmol/L and falling. This hypo was treated and I kept working. Next reading, 4 minutes later, 2.9 mmol/l, treated again. I stopped working 2 minutes later at 2.7 mmol/l and 15 minutes later the scanner read 2.4 mmol/L. Within the next minute, the next scan showed 2.6 mmol/L when I started the tractor again. I resisted over treating as I knew I had eaten enough carbs and had no hypo symptoms.

There was no provision to enter the units of Basal insulin (Levemir) and I change my Levemir injections, both am and pm, on a daily basis according to my meter readings and daily physical activities.

Entering data, when working in sunlight was difficult and the ability to change data was not possible. While working outside it was hard to see if the scanner had been turned off and if it was not turned off, the touch screen could change recently entered data when I put the scanner in my shirt pocket. Only the most recent scan will allow you too enter data and there is a time out period for entering data.

Because the arrow direction is Linear e.g., flat arrow Change Less than 0.06 mmol/L per mim, a scan could give a false sense of security. At 4.0 mmol/L, I could be heading towards a fast falling Hypo within 10 minutes if I am active. The trend graphs are about 10 to 15 minutes behind the scans and I found the scans to be about 10 minutes behind meter readings.

The expense of $104 for a sensor (lasts for only 14 days to the minute) and about the same for the scanner, delivered, makes it too expensive when I have to pay full price. At present, strips are free because I have reached my PBS Safety Net. I would like to see other options similar to the Libre with more flexibility for entering data available for Type 1 diabetics.


Thanks for that thorough report!

I visited my nurse practitioner today and got a prescription for the Libre reader and sensor kits. I ordered from Walgreen and they say it will be delivered from the warehouse tomorrow. I’m expecting to pay out-of-pocket this first time, since I believe Medicare is still making up their mind.

I agree that for some this is a good choice, but for others not. I’ve been using fingersticks for about 45 years. Dr Bernstein tells me that I would have gotten my first meter in about '72. So I’ve survived all these years with no alarms at all. Now that I’m on a very low carb diet, I don’t think I’d get alarms very often.

I do think that within the next year or two we will see improvements in both the Dexcom AND the Libre. And I would be very surprised if the Libre couldn’t do alarms by then.

My hope is to see when BS peaks and whether better timing of insulin and food would help. And it’s nice that if I wanted to use the Libre intermittently I could run it for 10 days and then lay off for a time.

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Do you mind posting what it costs you???

I didn’t get my first meter until the 1980’s and would be surprised if you got one in the early 1970’s. Dr. Bernstein got his wife to order one and essentially went to Medical school so that he could share his wisdom.

I do wish that I had saved all of my old meters and logbooks.

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You may be right about the timing, but I thought Richard told me earlier. He was not a doctor at that time and wrote a little anecdote about his “Ames Bomb” in Diabetes Forecast. A building emptied out because they thought his meter case was a bomb! :laughing: I tracked him down in NY State and he described the whole process to me over the phone. He made up a whole set of colored “calibration strips” to account for bottle-to-bottle variability. — the pre-cursor to code numbers. I took a different approach and wrote an equation for each bottle of strips.

In the period 1975-1978 I was doing Safety and Fire Protection surveys at my company’s plants. And I was telling company doctors about my amazing BS test device. My recollection is that I had already been using it for some time prior to that.

I wish I had saved my first meter too. But the rebate to get a smaller, battery-powered model was significant!

What a great historical account. Bernstein has mentioned that when he first presented the idea of using the meter to doctors this idea was not well received as they though it would cost them business as they routinely did monthly blood tests.

When you mentioned it to the doctors what was your experience?

Well, I was talking to Company doctors. They were paid to do exams and routine medical treatment for employees. So perhaps they didn’t feel the same threat. None had heard of this new tool and most were interested. I tested my blood on multiple occasions as a demo.

The doctor who wrote the first prescription for me had only heard of the meter at a seminar, but never seen one up close. He had some questions, but we had a good discussion and he wrote the script.

I got the reader today. It was $77.75 of which my BCBS prescription coverage paid $12.50. The sensors are $42.99. I didn’t get one yet though because my BCBS will cover part of it but I need a preauthorization. Tried running both through Medicare but neither was covered. I called BCBS and they said they would cover 80% of both the reader and the sensor as durable medical equipment. Unfortunately, no pharmacy near me was set up to bill them as durable medical equipment and no medical supply store had them available, so for now I’ll get them through my prescription coverage.

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My order is on delay because of a “reimbursement issue.” I’m sure that means that Medicare is balking, but I decided to let this go a couple of days to see what kind of response I get from both Medicare and my secondary.

I plan to do the purchase out-of-pocket, assuming the coverage isn’t available. Also, the prices Walgreen’s emailed me are higher than those quoted over the phone. So I’ll discuss that with them as well. I’ll report on how this works out, but it may be several more days.

Were there sensors in with the reader box? And how many sensors were for the 42.99? I’m going to check with my kroger store today…

My latest email from Walgreen’s shows a price of $84.99 for the reader and $131.88 for three sensors. My nurse practitioner wrote these as two separate prescriptions, since one will be recurring and the other not. These prices are higher than were quoted to me over the phone, so that will be a future discussion point, assuming that I get no Medicare coverage initially.

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There were no sensors in the box with the reader. The $42.99 is for one sensor.

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Thanks! Appreciate the info so much!

I ordered mine today and should have it on Monday. No pharmacist I have talked to has ever heard of it or even knows what to charge me. Walmart :weary: (ugh!) was the cheapest around saying their price was $70 for the reader and $36 for each sensor. She had no idea what my price would be which was lame, but I’ll update you on Monday. Called my insurance company and they said they would cover it no problem. I just had to purchase it then mail in my receipt with a claim form. I think it’s just to new for them to do claims the traditional way. The guy at BSCA had never heard of it either. He thought it was super cool though lol. I can only hope they put it under “durable medical equipment” of which I only have to pay 20%. I’m so excited! I’ve always wanted to be able to check my BG every hour and now I’ll be able to! Heck, at around $120 a month, I’d probably pay full price for that luxury :grin:

Seeing my realtime blood glucose changed everything about managing blood glucose for me. Watching and learning from the trends and patterns provided an education you just can’t get elsewhere.

I’m guessing you’ll be checking more than once per hour. I find it interesting!

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I’ll definitely be checking more than once per hour! That’s the bare minimum :wink: I truly believe that this will be the game changer for me in how well I am able to understand my body and as a result manage my diabetes. My fear of lows has always kept me from having an ideal A1C and I’m really hoping I can fine tune and better micromanage my BG to “keep me in the pocket.” It’s an exciting time!


I scared my pharmacist I think. Kroger, never heard of it. Doubtful my silver plan on the exchange will even consider covering it. And for the record, you do still need to do some fingersticks. So have a meter and some inexpensive strips or something available.