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Abbott (ABT) Reports Late-Breaking Data on FreeStyle Libre

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Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Free Report) recently presented late-breaking data on its FreeStyle Libre system at the American Diabetes Association’s (“ADA”) 81st Scientific Sessions. Data showed that this continuous glucose monitoring (“CGM”) system supports health equity through improved accessibility and affordability.

The late-breaking data, that includes real-world data from more than 1 million users of the FreeStyle Libre system, demonstrates the latter’s ability to positively impact both health and equity.

Notably, priced at a third of the cost of other CGMs globally, the FreeStyle Libre system is widely available to Americans living with diabetes, including those in the underserved communities.

Notable Findings

Real-world data comparing the FreeStyle Libre system with other competing CGM systems for U.S.-only matched patient groups demonstrates improved accessibility and health benefits of the former, including reductions in both HbA1C levels and acute complications (hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia). Per demographic data, FreeStyle Libre users mirror America’s diverse population with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Data from cost analysis showed that a 10% rise in FreeStyle Libre users can save Medicaid budget by $23 million annually. This is attributable to the fact that use of CGM over traditional blood glucose monitoring with fingersticks can potentially reduce complications, eventually leading to an overall cost savings for type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients.

Abbott’s Commitment To Health Equity

Abbott has addressed the health and economic disparities faced by millions of people living with diabetes despite technological advancements in diabetes care. Per the company data, 39% of Medicaid beneficiaries have an HbA1c of more than 9% (indicating poor control of diabetes). Yet, access to CGM technology is limited by many state Medicaid programs.

Zacks Investment Research

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Abbott intends to improve accessibility to CGMs to bridge the inequity gap for people with diabetes. The company has committed $5 million over three years to support the ADA's Health Equity Now initiative that intends to provide access to better care and latest medical advances for diabetes patients in the United States, including those in low-income groups (of which over 75% represent people of color).

Industry Prospects

Per a report published in Allied Market research, the global CGM systems market size is set to witness a CAGR of 22% by 2027. Factors such as a surge in geriatric population, increasing prevalence of diabetes and several advantages over conventional glucose monitors, including periodic monitoring of glucose levels to avoid diabetic complications, are expected to drive market growth in the forecast period.

Given the substantial market prospects, the late-breaking data backing the FreeStyle Libre system bears strategic significance.

Notable Developments

In June 2021, Abbott received the CE Mark for its Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test. The Panbio test is an easy-to-use, minimally invasive nasal swab test that permits self-collection of specimens and delivers results in 15 minutes. The recent regulatory go-ahead is expected to facilitate the sale of the rapid test in European countries and communities which are in need of such tests in order to support the reopening of local economies and ensure safer return to work, school and other activities.

In the same month, Abbott received the CE Mark and Health Canada approval for its Amplatzer Steerable Delivery Sheath developed for minimally invasive left atrial appendage occlusion procedures. The new device, used with Abbott’s Amplatzer Amulet Left Atrial Appendage Occluder, offers an essential treatment option to help manage risk of ischemic stroke from atrial fibrillation.

Share Price Performance

Abbott has outperformed its industry over the past year. The stock has rallied 27.9% compared with the industry’s 18.4% growth.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, Abbott carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

A few better-ranked stocks from the Medical-Products industry include PetIQ, Inc. (PETQ - Free Report) , National Vision Holdings, Inc. (EYE - Free Report) and Envista Holdings Corporation (NVST - Free Report) .

PetIQ, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 25%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

National Vision Holdings, which sports a Zacks Rank #1, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 23%.

Envista Holdings, which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 26.4%.

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