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Roche hooks up with U.K. pharmacy Boots to promote mySugr diabetes management app

Roche has struck a deal with popular pharmacy and retailer Boots in a campaign to promote free access to its mySugr diabetes management app in the U.K.

With the COVID-19 pandemic straining healthcare resources, Roche opened up the premium version of the app, mySugr Pro, to all users in late April. Users can sign up through the end of September for a free year of the app that normally sells for €20.99 for an annual subscription.

The new Boots partnership is meant to push wider awareness and promote the app on the retailer’s website and social media platforms, a Roche spokesperson said. Boots will also promote mySugr through partner site Alphega’s network of independent pharmacies.

More than 2 million users are registered on the mySugr app, which Roche bought in 2017. The app syncs with Roche Accu-Chek blood sugar meters, but it can incorporate data from other devices and fitness apps by connecting through Apple Health.

MySugr was recently accepted into the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) app library, adding another trust and credibility bump.

“With 200 new health apps coming to market every day, it can be difficult to assess their quality. Acceptance into the NHS Apps Library means that they have been determined as clinically safe and secure to use, having met standards set by NHS Digital, helping people with diabetes to decide which health and wellbeing apps to use,” Claire Marriott, Ph.D., medical affairs lead at Roche Diabetes Care in the U.K. and Ireland, said via email.

Roche Diabetes Care, which is part of Roche’s Diagnostics division and includes Accu-Chek, logged sales of $1.92 billion in 2019, staying essentially flat year over year. For the first quarter of 2020, sales of $425 million were down slightly (2%) compared with the same period in 2019. However, any broader impact from the COVID-19 pandemic won’t show up until the drugmaker reports second-quarter results.