Earlier this year, Senseonics announced it had entered into a distribution partnership with Geo-Med, LLC — a verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business — to provide veterans with diabetes access to the Eversense implantable continuous glucose monitor (CGM).
With this distribution partnership, Senseonics marks its entry into the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), which serves roughly nine million veterans, as well as several other federal-administered health care programs. A 2017 study by a team of Tennessee researchers found that diabetes was more prevalent among veterans than among the general population; the researchers estimated that 25 percent (2.25 million) of veterans within the VHA have diabetes. The data did not distinguish between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes in that figure.
According to Mike Gill, Senseonics U.S. vice-president of operations, the partnership has the potential to keep costs down for the VHA because the Eversense CGM is procured directly through its prosthetics division, rather than through a pharmacy.
At least one Veterans Affairs medical center has begun offering the CGM to veterans with diabetes already. In a phone interview with T1D Exchange Glu, Gill relayed two instances in which veterans with diabetes with type 1 diabetes benefitted from the option of the Eversense CGM — one who benefitted from the feature of on-skin vibration alarms because he worked in a noisy construction site and another who sweated too much at work as a tree trimmer to be able to keep on a traditional CGM sensor. Gill said that Senseonics offers an important CGM option for a population who may have some unique challenges. Unlike with other CGMs, the sensor is implanted into the skin, which means using the system requires less maintenance and there is less chance for accidental detachments.
“We’re finding that, especially for VA patients, where dexterity might be a problem, or they just have a lot going on with their lives, this is a really convenient product,” Gill said.
It has been an eventful year for Senseonics, which gained FDA approval for its implantable CGM in June 2018. Gill says some 400 doctors have written prescriptions for the Eversense CGM, which beat company expectations. According to a Close Concerns report, there are now between 3,200 and 4,500 Eversense users both in the U.S. and internationally. The number of users has been boosted by a recent affordability program rolled out by Senseonics, according to the report.
The company is continuing to enroll participants for clinical trials aimed at expanding FDA approval for the device; currently, it is approved for 90 days of use in the U.S. and 180 days of use in the European Union. Gill also said the company is working to expand insurance coverage for the product.
To read the full announcement of the partnership, click here.
5/22/2019 – This article has been corrected. An earlier version stated that the two veterans mentioned had type 1 diabetes, when in fact the diabetes was not specified. Also, the article originally stated that Senseonics received FDA approval in April 2018; it was June 2018.
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