How many people with diabetes in South Africa use a flash glucose monitor or CGM? What’s stopping them from using one? Those are the questions we wanted to answer with our Diabetic South Africans and sensors survey. The results were surprising.
Diabetic South Africans and sensors
Of the 1,234 people who answered the survey, 41.5% of them said they are currently using sensors to monitor their blood sugar (only about 2 in 5).
Of those, more than half have used the Abbott FreeStyle Libre:
- 52.74% Abbott FreeStyle Libre
- 25.78% Dexcom G6
- 32.7% Medtronic Enlite sensor and Guardian Sensor 3
We asked those who were Discovery members if they had used the CGM Benefit yet, and the majority answered ‘no’ (81.49%). While some of these may have come from non-Discovery members who answered ‘no’ rather than skipping the question, when we asked for clarification why they aren’t using it, the difficulty of claiming due to the co-pay was a large factor.
When asked what would make it easier for Diabetic South Africans to use sensors, an easier claiming process came out as the top response (32.59%) with face-to-face training with a doctor or nurse second in line (23.95%).
One of the biggest problems with the current situation (when it comes to Diabetic South Africans and sensors) is that the cost of sensors is so high. This is true even on the CGM Benefit, because of the co-pay. As a result, many people with diabetes don’t use them continuously. And if you’re not using a flash glucose monitor or CGM continuously, you aren’t getting the full benefit of the data.
What would make it easier to use sensors?
When we asked our survey respondents what could change their mind so that they would use sensors continuously, nearly half cited price or lack of co-pay as the major obstacle. 50.98% of respondents said a cheaper price would motivate them. An additional 29.61% said no co-pay would make them change their mind.
The response, then, is clear. While flash glucose monitors and CGM have the potential to dramatically change the lives of people with diabetes – to let them live #fingerstickfree – Diabetic South Africans need lower prices in order to use sensors to their full capacity.