TORONTO, ON – (June 12, 2018) — JDRF Canada applauds the British Columbia government’s announcement today extending the province’s current insulin pump program to all ages. BC now joins Ontario, Alberta and the Territories in providing publicly funded insulin pumps and supplies for those who live with type 1 diabetes (T1D) regardless of age.
“Today’s announcement is an important step for the BC government – one that will help British Columbians with T1D to better manage their disease,” says Dayna Backus, JDRF regional director for BC & Yukon. Backus was on hand for today’s announcement by BC health minister, Adrian Dix.
Canadians living with T1D must take insulin daily to manage their condition. Some deliver insulin through manual injections while others use insulin pumps. There is a significant and growing body of evidence demonstrating the medical benefits of using insulin pumps to manage T1D, including improved overall glucose control and more time spent in target range, reducing the number of serious related complications including cardiac issues, stroke, blindness, limb amputation and kidney failure. This translates into fewer emergency room visits and an overall reduction in the costs of diabetes care.
“We applaud the BC government for moving to extend public coverage of insulin pumps to all ages, a measure that will improve lives, improve health and ultimately save taxpayer dollars,” adds Backus. “The costs of managing this disease are significant to the health care system, and to individuals and families who face numerous out-of-pocket expenses. Today’s announcement means better health, including financial health, for people living with this disease.”
The high cost of insulin pumps and pump supplies are a significant barrier to this life-changing technology, especially for those in lower income groups. Extending coverage will particularly benefit young adults in their 20s and 30s who live with T1D. Faced with the costs of education, rent and other expenses, many are not in a position to manage the cost of replacing their pump, which can have a detrimental impact on their health.
Other provinces have programs in place to provide pumps for children and adolescents, but that coverage ends at age 18, 19 or 25 depending on the province. JDRF hopes the remaining provinces will follow suit and extend coverage in the near future.
About JDRF Canada
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of type 1 diabetes from people’s lives until we achieve a world without this disease. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure type 1 diabetes. JDRF is the largest charitable supporter of type 1 diabetes research. For more information, please visit www.jdrf.ca.
Regional Director, Vancouver – BC & Yukon Region
Manager, Fundraising & Development, Victoria –BC & Yukon Region