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Friday, June 21, 2024

Libre 3 Approved for Use in Canada

The new CGM should be in our hands by the end of the year.

The exciting news diabetics have all been waiting for, Libre is coming to Canada! Abbott’s Libre 3 CGM (continuous glucose monitor) was approved for use by Heath Canada on July 21, 2023. This exciting news of Libre 3’s approval brings this long-anticipated upgrade to Libre 2 one step closer to diabetics across Canada.

What do we know about the new Freestyle Libre 3?

Do you still need to scan Libre 3?

No More Scanning is required. The FreeStyle Libre 3 (manufactured by Abbott) differs from earlier Libre models, in that it does not require regular scanning to obtain a glucose level and will provide blood glucose threshold alerts alongside readings every minute. You read that right – NO MORE SCANNING with our phones or Libre reader.

Is Libre 3 the same size as Libre 2?

Libre 3 is significantly smaller, In fact, the Libre 3 continuous glucose system is 70% smaller than FreeSyle Libre 2. It is 70% smaller than the FreeStyle Libre 2, comparable to 2 pennies stacked on top of one another. Abbott describes the Libre 3 as the world’s thinnest, and most discreet sensor. In contrast, Libre 2 is about the size of two quarters staked on top of one another.

Size comparison between Abbott Libre 2 and Libre 3 CGM (Image from: Pimp My Diabetes)

Will Libre 3 will require a new app?

Yes, Using the United States and Europe, similar to the shift from Libre to Libre 2, it is expected that Libre 3 will require a new mobile app to be installed on your phone. The Health Canada approval of Libre 3 includes apps for iOS, Android, as well as a Libre 3 reader kit.

Is Libre 3 Approved in Canada?

Yes, Libre 3 was approved and received clearance from Health Canada on Friday, July 21, 2023. The approval included iOS and Android app’s, a reader kit, and a sensor kit.

Will Libre 3 have different coverage requirements than Libre 2?

Approval having just been announced, it remains to be seen when the Freestyle Libre 3 will be available for sale and what will be the requirements of Private Insurance companies and Provincial health plans. We know, however, looking at experience south of the border in the United States, Libre 3 is expected to be priced close to that of previous versions.

That being said, as Libre 3 is now a fully continuous glucose monitor, insurance companies may not consider the eligibility of the Libre 3 similar to other devices like the Dexcom G7 ad G6 which typically require either the use of an insulin pump or a “Type 1” diagnosis and not the typical more generic definition of diabetes control using insulin. It could be an interesting few months.

When will Libre 3 be available in Pharmacies and from Abbott Canada?

Using Libre 2 as an example, it took approximately 4 months from when Libre 2 was approved in December 2020 until it was available at pharmacies and distributors. Using myself as an example, my first Libre 2 prescription was filled on April 10, 2021. Based on a similar timeline we are looking towards the end of the year – October or November time frame. Just in time for holiday celebrations and really putting our new CGM to the test.

Where can I find information about Health Canada’s approval of Freestyle Libre 3?

The Health Canada Medical Device License information for Libre 3 is as follows:

Licence No.: 109791
Licence No.: 109791
Licence No.: 109791
Licence No.: 109791

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Mark Hanlon


Mark is an avid photographer, Starbucks addict, motivated cyclist, struggling runner, and rocking single parent living outside of Toronto, Ontario. Living with two chronic ilnesses, Crohn’s Disease and Diabetes, life for this Transportation Planner and Registered Professional Planner (RPP) can be an interesting mix.