Since the #AccessforAll campaign launched in 2019, we have seen considerable success with five provinces and one territory introducing new coverage for Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM) and Flash Glucose Monitors (Flash GM). As a result, thousands of Canadians living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) have been able to access this diabetes technology, reducing individual out-of-pocket costs considerably.
For 2022, the campaign is focusing on persuading the Atlantic provinces to also begin providing this much-needed coverage. Armed with additional data from a new cost-effectiveness study, as well as successful models from other Canadian jurisdictions, we are confident that we’ll be able to welcome more good news in 2022.
We began the year with a productive meeting with the Minister of Health in Nova Scotia, The Hon. Michelle Thompson. We discussed the benefits of offering coverage for Nova Scotians living with T1D, and potentially expanding the insulin pump program to those older than 25.
Mother and daughter, and JDRF advocates Amanda and Aaliyah Williams spoke to the Minister about how important patient choice is for those living with T1D. Aaliyah, who is 14 years old, shared how she initially started using a different advanced glucose monitoring device, and soon realized that it wasn’t working for her. Luckily, because she is covered by private insurance, she was able to make the switch to the device that helps her live a healthier and safe life. She has never been happier, but not everyone is as fortunate to have private coverage, and this is why we are urging the government to step up and fill those gaps.
Leah Sutherland, a mother of a young adult living with T1D worries for her daughter who will age out of pump coverage next year. Leah’s daughter is at a critical point in her life, starting her career and not in a position to take on the cost of a pump and supplies, as they cost thousands of dollars per year. T1D does not end at 25, so Leah has been advocating tirelessly on behalf of her daughter, collecting signatures for a petition that will be presented in the legislature in the coming months.
We were also encouraged by PEI’s commitment to diabetes funding in their 2021 provincial budget. We, presented to Minister of Finance The Hon. Darlene Compton to make the case for CGM/Flash GM funding, and made a similar appeal to the Minister of Health in Newfoundland, The Hon. John Haggie.
We look forward to working with the Atlantic provinces to ensure that the T1D community is supported in their efforts to increase public coverage for insulin pumps and advanced glucose monitors (CGM and Flash GM). To support the campaign, please take a few minutes to send a message to your representative. You will be voicing important concerns in response to a new era of healthcare.