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New guidance launched on insulin pump therapy

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NICE has produced new guidance on the use of insulin pump therapy for patients with type 1 diabetes.

The therapy can be used on patients aged over 12 as a treatment option if attempts to reach target haemoglobin A1c levels result in a person having disabling hypoglycaemia.

It can also be used if HbA1c levels have remained high with multiple daily injections despite the person and/or their carer trying top manage their diabetes.

Insulin pump therapy should only be continued in adults and children aged over 12 years if there has been a sustained improvement in the control of their blood glucose levels.

Children under 12 should only receive insulin pump treatment if multiple daily injections are not practical or not considered appropriate.

Those aged between 12 and 18 years should have a trial of multiple daily injections. But the charity Diabetes UK said the guidance did not go far enough.

A spokesperson said: ‘We are extremely disappointed that cost effectiveness considerations have created eligibility criteria that could be seen as a perverse incentive against good blood glucose control.

'People with Type 1 diabetes aged 12 and over who are not experiencing disabling hypoglycaemia and have an Hba1c of less than 8.5 do not meet the criteria for an insulin pump. This does not consider the quality of life benefits that an insulin pump may bring to some people with diabetes even if their control is at a level below 8.5.’

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