Canadians living with type 1 diabetes will have improved access to the treatments and devices they need through a new national pharmacare program 

February 29, 2024 – Ottawa – Today marks a historic moment for the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community in Canada. JDRF Canada is thrilled to have been part of the Government of Canada’s announcement of a new national pharmacare program. The organization commends the federal government for ensuring the close to 300,000 Canadians living with T1D, an autoimmune condition that requires constant monitoring of blood glucose levels and multiple daily insulin injections to survive, will have improved and affordable access to the treatments and devices they need to improve self-management, health outcomes and quality of life.

“A national pharmacare program that includes insulin and diabetes devices shows a deep commitment to ensuring equitable access to healthcare for all Canadians, regardless of their medical condition or socioeconomic status, as well as relieving an immense burden from our healthcare system. We welcome the Government’s announcement of a program that will provide all Canadians with the access they need,” says Jessica Diniz, President & CEO, JDRF Canada.

Insulin was discovered in Canada by Drs. Banting, Collip and Best who then sold the patent to the University of Toronto for $1. Banting famously said, “Insulin does not belong to me, it belongs to the world.” Banting believed that everyone who needed insulin should have access to it. Making all insulins among the first treatments covered by pharmacare honours this historic legacy.

Access to insulin and test strips leads to better diabetes self-management and could restore two years of healthy life to a person living with T1D. And if everyone in Canada has access to diabetes devices like insulin pumps and advanced glucose monitors, a further six healthy years could be restored to the average person with T1D. Access to diabetes technology also helps to reduce the risk of life-threatening complications. Additionally, better self-management reduces hospital visits and the associated long-term costs of hospitalization. Without these devices, the average person living with T1D spends an extra 18 days a year managing their condition.

This commitment from the national pharmacare program will help improve the lives of those living with T1D. The goal, however, remains cures for T1D, and Canada is on the forefront of the most promising T1D research that will get us there with sustained research investments. JDRF Canada has put forth a budget proposal to the federal government for $50M in budget 2024 towards T1D research funding that JDRF will bolster with an additional $25M, for a total research investment of $75M. This funding will accelerate progress to a world where those living with T1D are no longer dependent on insulin, making a natural complement to a national pharmacare program. Canada gave the world insulin, and JDRF Canada strongly believes that with support from the federal government, Canada can give the world a cure.

For more details on the new national pharmacare program, please visit:

News release link:

Backgrounder link:

About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. JDRF partners across the full T1D development pipeline – including academic institutions, governments and corporations – to fund research and advocate for the delivery of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout Canada and five international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit

For media inquiries or further information, please contact:

Ruth Kapelus
National Content & Media Relations Manager, JDRF Canada
T. 647.789.2322 E.

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