In Korea, Abbot’s Freestyle Libre is sold by Adela, who also provide customer service and assistance. Currenly only the FreeSyle Libre 1 is available in Korea, and as of 2021 it is also party funded by National Insurance, making it a lot more affordable. The website is https://www.diabetesmall.co.kr
Abbot’s Freestyle Libre is a flash reader, not a cgm, as it doesn’t automatically send glucose values, but they need to be checked via a reader. In Korea, this reader is not available and instead, a Libre app is provided, turning your phone into a reader. The sensors sold in Korea are also still compatible with readers sold before 2017 in Europe.
Libre can not be calibrated, but there are also several hacks to turn Libre into a cgm via MiaoMiao, Bluecon or Bubble. Different apps will be required to use Libre like a cgm through these products. These apps include Glimp, xDrip+ or tomato.
The cost of the Libre has recently increased a bit after NHI coverage has been granted, however there are discount deals available if multiple sensors are bought. While 1 sensor costs 95’000 won, the price for 2 sensors is 184’000 won (92’000 won each) and the price for 7 sensors is 588’000 won (84’000 won each)
- You should register for a Libre membership before buying any sensors.
- Sensors usually take 3-5 business days to arrive.
- Libre can be bought at major pharmacies and no prescription is needed.
- Libre can also be bought without being enrolled in the National Health Insurance.
- The FreeStyle Libre Reader is not available in South Korea. You can download the free Freestyle LibreLink app which must be compatible with NFC-enabled smartphones running Android OS 5.0 or higher; or iPhone 7 or later running on iOS 11 for the higher version.
- The FreeStyle Libre system has specific regulatory requirements that often vary by country. Therefore, FreeStyle Libre Sensors bought overseas will not be compatible with the FreeStyle LibreLink app in South Korea.
- The FreeStyle Libre sensor bought in South Korea must be used with the FreeStyle LibreLink application downloaded from South Korea’s Apple store or Google Play store
- Adela provides support via KakaoTalk for any queries.