Sherri Shepherd, FreeStyle, Abbott

Abbott’s diabetes awareness campaign drives dialogue about patient access and affordable technology

By Maria Fontanazza

Abbott, Mahmood Kazemi

Abbott Chief Medical Officer Mahmood Kazemi

Today Abbott announced the launch of its “Countdown at a Crossroads” campaign with the help of actress and talk show host Sherri Shepherd and the American Diabetes Association. Coinciding with the start of National Diabetes Awareness Month (November), the campaign features an animated installation at the Oculus Center in New York City, focusing on the stories of people affected by diabetes. “The core objective of the ‘Countdown at a Crossroads’ campaign is to raise awareness of and promote greater access to CGMs to help slow the diabetes epidemic,” Mahmood Kazemi, M.D., chief medical officer at Abbott, told Med Ad News. “[It] highlights the personal impact of CGMs on people living with diabetes, driving dialogue on the need for wider access and adoption.” He adds that Abbott is donating $0.99 to the American Diabetes Association’s Health Equity Now platform, up to $100,000, for every visit to “This donation represents the 99% of people living with diabetes globally who don’t use a CGM, and supports making diabetes devices and technology, like CGMs, more affordable and accessible particularly among underserved communities.”

Sherri Shepherd

Sherri Shepherd is a TV host and health advocate living with Type 2 diabetes, and a user of Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre CGM sensor.

The campaign also features Shepherd, who is not only a comedian and TV host, but she is also a health advocate living with Type 2 diabetes and a user of Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre CGM sensor. Her involvement in the campaign is to foster awareness of CGM technology, especially among a population of patients who do now know that the powerful tool is available and accessible. “Life-changing diabetes technology should not be out of reach for people living with diabetes. We priced the FreeStyle Libre CGM systems at 70% below the price of other CGM systems, and we have kept the cost consistent with every generation,” says Kazemi, who notes that only one percent of people living with diabetes worldwide use CGMs. “In addition, Abbott is continuously working with health systems, payors, and government agencies throughout the U.S. and around the world to secure reimbursements for CGMs so that more people can get access to the technology.”

Earlier this year, Abbott also announced a collaboration with the American Diabetes Association for a therapeutic nutrition program aimed at better understanding how diabetes technology such as CGMs can help people living with diabetes make more informed decision about their food and activity.