Toronto, ON, April 8, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Wednesday, April 7, 2021, Toronto, ON – “JDRF Canada welcomes this week’s announcements by the provincial government from Saskatchewan and Manitoba that it will provide access to insulin pumps and continuous and continuous medication expand flash glucose monitors for people with type 1 diabetes, ”said Dave Prowten, President and CEO of JDRF Canada.
In the budget announced on Tuesday, April 6th, Saskatchewan committed to developing a new program that will cover the cost of Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) and Flash Glucose Monitors (Flash GMs) up to the age of 18 and that Saskatchewan insulin pump program expands to all ages. Dustin Halvorson, parent of a child with Type 1 diabetes, said, “Our family is delighted that the provincial government is keeping its promise to expand coverage for individuals and families with Type 1 diabetes. This week’s announcement shows that we are being heard and that those who have the burden of monitoring their blood sugar levels minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day will have access to technology that will help them live easier, healthier and more move forward to lead safer life. “
Manitoba announced Wednesday that it will cover CGMs up to 25 years of age and expand coverage under the Manitoba Pediatric Insulin Pump Program by changing the age limit for eligibility from under 18 to under 25. Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the only three Canadian provinces or areas to join the Yukon to cover CGMs. Ontario and Quebec cover flash GMs for some with type 1 diabetes.
As for insulin pumps, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, the Territories and now Saskatchewan have pumps for all ages. With today’s announcement, all other provinces except Quebec are insured up to the age of 25. Quebec is now the only remaining province to discontinue insulin pump coverage at the age of 18.
“With type 1 diabetes care going online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, technologies like continuous and flash glucose monitoring are becoming increasingly important as they drive the transition to virtual and remote care. If the age limit for insulin pumps is raised to 25 years, young Manitobans can move from pediatric to adult care and take advantage of these important and evolving technologies. We are grateful for the efforts of the Manitoba government to expand access for Manitobans with type 1 diabetes, ”said Dr. Nick Hajidiacos, JDRF board member, specialist in internal medicine and the parent of a child with type 1 diabetes.
For Canadians living with type 1 diabetes, self-management is achieved through careful measurement of blood sugar and administration of insulin. CGMs and Flash GMs are based on body-mounted sensors that measure glucose in the interstitial fluid just below the skin, replacing the traditional finger prick method. The glucose reading is sent to the screen of a reader, smartphone, or insulin pump, so users can get an updated glucose reading every few minutes – readings that the user can use to calculate the insulin dose. These devices may also include alarms that alert the user and / or their caregivers when blood sugar levels are rising or falling rapidly and urgent action is required.
Studies show that using diabetes technologies like insulin pumps, CGMs, and flash GMs helps improve diabetes self-management, including key measures like total blood sugar (HbA1C) and time in target range (TIR) to get more people out of the hospital keep away.
“Without government support, many adults and children living with diabetes will continue to struggle to keep costs under control or, worse, be forced to get by with inferior and outdated technology,” Prowten added. “This will only widen the gap between those who can afford these technologies and those who cannot afford them. We urge all provinces to take similar steps to improve access to the technology Canadians need to treat their type 1 diabetes. “
The JDRF recognizes efforts by parent groups in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and medical students at the University of Saskatchewan to increase the need for provincial coverage for diabetes technologies.
The goal of JDRF’s Access for All campaign is to improve access to advanced glucose monitors and insulin pumps for all Canadians with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes devices help people living with the disease manage it better themselves, resulting in improved health outcomes and a better quality of life.
To learn more about JDRFs #AccessForAll Check out the campaign jdrf.ca/accessforall.