Image of diabetes technology

NICE recommends ‘life-changing’ type 1 diabetes tech

Thousands of type 1 diabetes patients are set to benefit from “life-changing” technology thanks to a new recommendation from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

NICE has widened access to hybrid closed loop systems – a device which includes a continuous glucose monitor sensor that feeds data into a body-worn insulin pump.

The technology calculates how much insulin is needed to keep blood glucose levels within a healthy range.

This comes after clinical trial and real-world evidence indicated that such systems are more effective at regulating blood glucose levels than standard care.

While the NHS implements most of NICE’s recommendations within 90 days of final guidance, the need for extra staff and specialist training means the two organisations have agreed on a five-year delivery plan.

The technology has been recommended for adults with an HbA1c level of 7.5% or more – HbA1c is a person’s average blood glucose levels for the previous two-to-three months.

Adults suffering from disabling hypoglycaemia despite best possible management will also be offered the technology.

All children and young people, women who are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy, and those who already have an insulin pump will be prioritised in the five-year roll-out, according to NICE.

NICE’s chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Benger, said: “With around ten percent of the entire NHS budget being spent on diabetes, it is important for NICE to focus on what matters most by ensuring the best value for money technologies are available to healthcare professionals and patients.”

The decision can be appealed during the next three weeks, with final guidance expected to be published next month.

“It has been a team effort to get this appraisal to a successful conclusion,” added Prof Benger.

“I would like to pay tribute to the hard work of the NICE staff, the independent committee, and our colleagues at NHS England and in industry to ensure people with type 1 diabetes will benefit from this life-changing technology.”

Image credit: iStock

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