Abbott and Sherri Shepherd: Millions Not Using Affordable Diabetes Technology

Nov 2, 2023 12:30 PM ET
people walking inside building
Abbott kicks off its new campaign 'Countdown at a Crossroads,' for National Diabetes Awareness Month by taking over the Oculus Center in New York City with a captivating, animated installation featuring the faces impacted by diabetes.


  • Abbott and Shepherd aim to raise awareness of the rising rates of diabetes diagnoses and how access to continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems can reduce diabetes-related complications1, provide better health outcomes, and improve quality of living2
  • Television host and diabetes advocate Sherri Shepherd unveils one-of-a-kind animated installation at the Oculus Center in New York City featuring herself alongside the faces and stories of people like her who are thriving despite their diagnosis
  • Every visit to www.Crossroads.Abbott during November's National Diabetes Awareness Month will trigger an automatic donation* to the American Diabetes Association's Health Equity Now program, which helps educate people on the benefits of diabetes devices and technology

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., November 2, 2023 /3BL/ - Abbott (NYSE: ABT) announced 'Countdown at a Crossroads,' which kicks off National Diabetes Awareness Month by taking over the Oculus Center in New York City – the literal "Crossroads of the World" – with an animated installation that features the faces and stories of people impacted by diabetes, including comedian and talk show host Sherri Shepherd.

"Using a FreeStyle Libre sensor to monitor my glucose levels has helped me get a better grasp on my Type 2 diabetes and ultimately improve my quality of living," said television host and diabetes advocate Sherri Shepherd. "Many people living with diabetes aren't aware of this incredible life-changing technology and Abbott's efforts to make it accessible. The goal of 'Countdown at a Crossroads' is to change that – and I am energized to help by fostering awareness."

The World is at a Diabetes Crossroads

There are more than half a billion adults across the world living with diabetes and this number is only predicted to rise1. Yet only 1% of them are using technology like FreeStyle Libre, a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system3, signifying that they are not aware of or do not have access to this technology.

CGM technology provides real-time data to help a person see how food, activity and medicine can have an impact on their glucose levels, with the additional benefit of improving their health by reducing their hemoglobin A1C4. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lowering your A1C can lower a person's risk of complications from diabetes such as nerve damage, eye problems and heart disease.

More people are using medications like GLP-1s to improve their glycemic control or help with weight loss. In a newly published analysis from Abbott, data has shown that these drugs can work better with CGMs by not only providing weight loss but also helping people living with diabetes create positive, long-term behavior changes to assist in managing their condition.

Making Critical Diabetes Technology More Accessible

Abbott has taken steps at every stage of the design process to make FreeStyle Libre systems the most cost-efficient. Priced at 70% less than other CGM systems, FreeStyle Libre is the most affordable5 option for the one in 10 Americans6 who are living with diabetes.

"We purposefully made FreeStyle Libre technology to be accessible and affordable," said Jared Watkin, senior vice president of Abbott's diabetes care business. "However, even with our millions of users, we know that continuous glucose monitors are still not being used by the vast majority of people who can benefit from them. We're working hard to spread awareness and improve access, and we hope that our critical innovation can play a part in slowing the diabetes epidemic."

CGMs have become the standard of care for people with Type 1 diabetes, yet up to 95% of people living with diabetes in America have Type 2 diabetes7, where approximately less than 10% of people use CGM technology8 – either because they are not aware or do not have insurance coverage. In several studies, CGMs have been proven to help people living with Type 2 diabetes significantly reduce diabetes-related hospitalizations while also enabling them to control their diabetes without adding insulin therapy to their treatment routine9.

Abbott will continue to work with health systems, payors and government agencies in the U.S. and around the world to expand reimbursement for CGMs so that all people living with diabetes can get access.

Countdown at a Crossroads

Mirroring the staggering reality that a new person is diagnosed with diabetes every 23 seconds in the United States6, the Crossroads structure on display at the Oculus Center in New York City on Nov. 1 will generate a different face of someone impacted by diabetes every 23 seconds. Additionally, visitors can scan a QR code featured on the installation or visit www.Crossroads.Abbott to learn more about diabetes, the benefits of continuous glucose monitoring technology, and read personal stories of patients positively impacted by FreeStyle Libre's transformative technology.

With a mere 1% of those globally living with diabetes utilizing CGMs to manage their condition3, Abbott is recognizing the other 99% who could benefit from this vital tool. For every person who visits www.Crossroads.Abbott during November's National Diabetes Awareness Month, a $0.99 donation* will be provided to the American Diabetes Association's Health Equity Now program.

"Our ongoing partnership with Abbott underscores the importance of making diabetes care and management accessible," said Charles "Chuck" Henderson, chief executive officer of the American Diabetes Association. "We appreciate Abbott's support to increase awareness of health disparities and implement consumer access solutions during this critical time in the diabetes community. It takes all of us working together to end diabetes."

To learn more about 'Countdown at a Crossroads,' visit www.Crossroads.Abbott and follow Abbott on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The FreeStyle Libre portfolio is the number one sensor-based glucose monitoring system in the world10 changing the lives of more than 5 million people across more than 60 countries8 by providing breakthrough technology that is accessible and affordable5.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 115,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.

Connect with us at, on LinkedIn at, on Facebook at and on Twitter @AbbottNews.

Important Safety Information – FreeStyle Libre 14 day, FreeStyle Libre 2 and FreeStyle Libre 3 systems

Failure to use FreeStyle Libre systems as instructed in labeling may result in missing a severe low or high glucose event and/or making a treatment decision, resulting in injury. If glucose reading and alarms (if enabled) do not match symptoms or expectations, use a fingerstick value from a blood glucose meter for treatment decisions. Seek medical attention when appropriate or contact Abbott at 855-632-8658 or for safety info.

FreeStyle Libre Customer Service 
People in the U.S. who have questions about the FreeStyle Libre portfolio can reach out to Abbott's Customer Service toll-free at 855-632-8658. Agents are available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, excluding holidays.

*Abbott will donate $0.99 to the American Diabetes Association's Health Equity Now program for every unique visit to its Countdown at a Crossroads website (www.Crossroads.Abbott) from November 1–30, 2023, 11:59:59 PM ET, up to $100,000.

1 The American Journal of Managed Care, Flash CGM Associated With Event Reduction in Nonintensive Diabetes Therapy, 2021. 
2 American Diabetes Association, Continuous Glucose Monitors, accessed 27 Oct. 23. 
3 International Diabetes Federation, IDF Diabetes Atlas 10th edition, 2021; Seagrove Partners, Diabetes Bluebook, August 2023. 
4 Diabetes Care, Clinical Targets for Continuous Glucose Monitoring Data Interpretation: Recommendations From the International Consensus on Time in Range, 2019. 
5 Based on a comparison of list prices of FreeStyle Libre 14 day, FreeStyle Libre 2 and FreeStyle Libre 3 systems versus competitors' CGM systems. The actual cost to patients may or may not be lower than other CGM systems, depending on the amount covered by insurance, if any. Abbott provides this information as a courtesy, it is subject to change and interpretation. The customer is ultimately responsible for determining the appropriate codes, coverage, and payment policies for individual patients. Abbott does not guarantee third-party coverage or payment for our products or reimburse customers for claims that are denied by third-party payers. 
6 American Diabetes Association, Research Is the Key to Ending Diabetes, 2023; and Centers for Disease Control's National Diabetes Statistics Report, all accessed 28 Sept. 2023. 
7 Centers for Disease Control's National Diabetes Statistics Report, accessed 28 Sept. 2023. 
8 Data on file, Abbott Diabetes Care. 
9 The American Journal of Managed Care, Flash CGM Associated With Event Reduction in Nonintensive Diabetes Therapy, 2021; and New Late-Breaking Data Show Use of Abbott's FreeStyle® Libre System Significantly Reduces HbA1C Levels in People with Type 2 Diabetes Using Insulin or Not, Jun 13, 2020
10 Data based on the number of users worldwide for FreeStyle Libre family of personal CGMs compared to the number of users for other leading personal CGM brands and based on CGM sales dollars compared to other leading personal CGM brands.


For further information: Abbott Media: Katie Walker,; or Abbott Financial, Mike Comilla,