Ensuring Canadians living with diabetes have access to the treatments and devices they need in Canada’s national pharmacare program

February 27, 2024 – Canada-wide – JDRF Canada, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of the estimated 300,000 Canadians living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) through its advocacy efforts, is awaiting the imminent announcement of a new national pharmacare program that will include coverage of diabetes medications. Insulin was discovered in Canada by 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.” He wanted everyone who needed it to have access to it. Making all insulins among the first treatments covered by pharmacare honours this historic legacy.

Another critical component that we look forward to seeing supported in the national pharmacare program is diabetes devices, such as advanced glucose monitors and insulin pumps.

Insulin pump therapy is a crucial tool for the management of diabetes in many people with the condition, particularly those with T1D. Compared with insulin therapy delivered with syringes or pens, insulin pump use is generally associated with improved glucose control, reduced hypoglycemia and other complications, and improved quality of life in people with T1D.

Furthermore, compared with conventional methods for blood glucose monitoring by finger-prick testing, advanced glucose monitors including Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) and Flash Glucose Monitors (Flash GMs) have revolutionized diabetes management. These devices provide real-time glucose readings and trends, allowing individuals to make pro-active decisions about their diabetes management. They also provide clinicians with enhanced data to guide treatment decisions for their patients with diabetes. In people with T1D, these monitors not only improve the quality of life for people with diabetes but also glucose control, thereby reducing the risk of associated long-term complications.

A national pharmacare program that includes insulin and diabetes devices would show 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.

For more information:
Ruth Kapelus
National Content and Media Relations Manager
T. 647-789-2322

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