Moving Abroad and being forced to switch from Omnipod to Meditronic


I recently moved from the United States to Finland. While I am grateful for the nearly free access to doctors and insulin, it does not come with out it's pitfalls. I have been on (an loving) the Omnipod pump and Dexcom CGM and now have been told that the only pump I can get here is medtronic and I will most likely not get a the accompanying CGM unless the Doctor determines I have a need.

I get that this system of socialized medicine is quite different from the insurance system in the US, but am so sad to think I'll be torn from the system (i.e. omnipod and dexcom) that has made my management so good and so easy.

So I have 2 questions: Maybe they should be in different forums, but:

1) Does anyone have experience moving from the US to Europe and if so is there anything I can do to stay on my current devices (even if it means paying something extra).


2) If I am forced to switch to medtronic and (hopefully) the accompanying sensor. Can anyone help me with the transition. for example, are the sensors accurate at all (so should I even fight for one)? If anyone has switched from omnipod to medtronic, how was the transition? Are there any reasons I should be happy with this switch (b/c I love my omnipod).


I can't help with specific advice to Europe as I lived abroad in Asia. I ran into similar constraints: the range of devices wasn't as broad even though the cost was significantly cheaper. It's interesting to read that you have less choice as at diabetes conferences here people are always talking about how the EU gets things to market faster than the USA because of the slower pace of the FDA. (I'm assuming now that it's country by country.)

Looks like the EU distributor for the Omnipod might be a point of contact. I just ran a Google search and found the page that links to them:

Good luck! Hope someone can help!

Hi both, I’m in UK. I’m afraid that just because medical devices get licenced here more easily than say USA, doesn’t alas mean you can get funding for them. In fact, since Omnipod is more expensive than all other pumps, not all pump clinics here offer it (it’s also about whether the clinic staff have been trained in it too though), and even if they do, many CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups - your local health funding body depending on where you live rather than where your hospital/health service is based) can refuse to fund you for it, but insist on a cheaper pump. And many hospital pump clinics will only offer one pump as they’ve bought in a large quota of them at a discount - economies of scale. As for CGM - virtually impossible to get public funding for here unless you have a really good team behind you who can write an individual request based on your very individual need, that you’ve tried everything else on offer to control your diabetes but still have big problems like frequent hypoglycaemia unawareness during the night resulting in hospitalisation. Not many people who make these requests are successful.

It’s quite a postcode lottery but for me personally, I feel so lucky to have my pump as if I lived in USA, there’s no way I’d be able to afford one, even with ACA - I haven’t worked for years due ill health and wouldn’t be able to afford any excess not covered by the insurance policy. I still prefer the non-US approach!

Sorry you’ve lost your CGM funding as that’s very expensive to self-fund, and once you’ve had something, it’s hard to let go.

Hi, I moved from the USA to Hungary and had to make a similar switch (which I also didn't want to do) from Cozmo to Medtronic. This was 5-6 years ago now.

I did stay on the Cozmo for a while after the move, but could only do so by keeping my US insurance, which became expensive. Also, I could only pick up my supplies on annual trips home to the USA.

Although I did not want to switch to the Medtronic (and there are still some things that I don't like about it), overall it was not nearly as bad as I expected. If you do switch to Medtronic, ask for a sample of ALL infusion sets (including Sure T, which I love!) so that you can try them out and see what you like best.

There also isn't CGMS coverage here, but you can pay for it out of pocket. Most people prefer the Dexcom to the Medtronic CGMS. The good news is that the Dexcom is available in Finland:
Perhaps contact them and see if they can offer any special prices.

You may also look into whether or not you could buy into a private insurance scheme that would cover the costs (or part of the costs) of CGMS. Many European countries have dual schemes and private schemes offer perks that the national health care system doesn't.

My doctors feel constant CGMS use is really unnecessary and don't even advise it. I really wanted one, but I saw that I could get great blood sugars even without it. I see my endo more often than in the USA and she spends a lot more time with me. So that is indeed the sunny side of the picture :)

Good luck adjusting!!

Also check out the TuDiabetes group for Europe, as we have some members from Finland, I think.

Don't forget your new pump will use mmol not mg/dl for BG readings.

Thank you so much for all of your replies! Really helpful!!!

Hi, just want to say that I'm a user of Medtronic minimed and the Enlite sensors. I've been happy with the system and the accuracy is mostly very good. There have been some problems a couple of times, but not often.

If I were you, I’d do whatever it took to remain on the Dexcom. Every single study I’ve read demonstrates the superior accuracy of the Dexcom over the Medtronic CGM.