UPDATE: Limits on Libre mystery solved

Quarantine Day 14:

I’ve been doing some investigative digging into the restricted Libre sensor situation the last few days, and it seems someone in the supply chain is telling me a big, fat lie!

Earlier this week, my local Safeway Pharmacy informed me that I could no longer order more than one Libre sensor at a time because the manufacturer (Abbott) had limited the distribution of sensors to one box per pharmacy per day.

For those of you not on the Libre, that’s the equivalent of a two-week supply, IF the sensor lasts the full two weeks.

That’s just plain ridiculous.

So, I dusted off my old journalism skills and sent off emails and made phone calls to find an answer to my question of why.

I emailed my MLA, as well as the Minister of Health (who, by the way, also has type-1). I also emailed Abbott, and subsequently called them.

A representative from my MLA’s office was the first to respond.

MLA Judy Darcy's Office

What I’m seeing in this response is that the supply chain is still operating as usual but that some pharmacies have chosen to impose a limit on certain meds and supplies to reduce the potential for hoarding.

Let’s talk about this notion of hoarding.

First of all, it totally sucks.

But in Canada we have always been able to order a three-month supply of our meds for as long as I can recall. And while I recognize that not all people with diabetes do so, the fact that we’ve been able to should provide enough information to supply chains to keep that supply going regardless of an upsurge in orders or not.

Abbott confirmed what the MLA’s office told me.

Libre-Abbott2

As soon as I read Abbott’s reply, I thought, hey, that looks real familiar.

Word for word, it was the same blanket statement I saw on the Connected in Motion blog.

That’s when I picked up the phone.

A blanket statement would not do.

Safeway was telling me one thing, Abbott was telling me another. I was going to get to the bottom of this.

The Abbott representative I spoke to sounded just as confused as I was by the situation. He told me as far as he knew there had been no disruption in distribution.

Like the MLA’s office, he did acknowledge that some pharmacies were voluntarily limiting the number of medicines and medical supplies they were allowing people due to a fear of hoarding.

When I told him that Safeway said the edict to limit had come from the manufacturer, he said he found that “quite odd.”

He told me he would look into this further and get back to me with answers; I’m still waiting.

Some of you have shared similar experiences with other big pharmacies limiting not only sensors, but insulin too. Some of you have had to travel to multiple pharmacies to get all the supplies you need. Yet, one of my friends, who gets her supplies from a smaller pharmacy, has had no issues.

I don’t know if this is the best place to reiterate this, or if I should be repeating it over and over to the pharmacies until I’m blue in the face, but here I go:

How is this a logical action plan?

People with type-1 diabetes are already at heightened risk for contracting coronavirus. If we can’t get a sufficient supply of our meds/supplies, our risk increases. If we are having to go to multiple pharmacies for our meds/supplies, our risk increases. If we’re having to increase the number of times we go to the pharmacy, our risk increases.

This is NOT a time to be increasing our risk!

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