Canadian Diabetes Association Applauds Government Support for Nova Scotians with Diabetes
Halifax, Nova Scotia (July 25, 2012) – The Canadian Diabetes Association applauds the Government of Nova Scotia for increasing access to long-acting insulin known as Lantus (insulin glargine) for Nova Scotians living with diabetes. Today, in a news release from the Health and Wellness Minister, Honourable David Wilson, the province added Lantus to the provincial drug formulary, providing more options for people with diabetes for whom other insulin treatments have not been effective in controlling blood glucose levels.
“This is a positive step in ensuring people living with diabetes in Nova Scotia have access to medication that helps them manage their disease,” says Lisa Matte, Regional Director for the Canadian Diabetes Association in Nova Scotia. “We are pleased that the Government of Nova Scotia is leading the way as the first province in Atlantic Canada to provide coverage for alternative insulin therapy options. This is an important government commitment to diabetes management that will help improve the lives of people living with diabetes.”
Previous Association research estimates that the direct and indirect financial impact of diabetes in Nova Scotia currently costs the province $383 million per year.
This is welcome news for Halifax resident Gail Julian. “When I had private insurance I was able to use Lantus to help manage my diabetes,” says Gail. “When I became unemployed I was very disappointed that I could no longer access Lantus under the Pharmacare program. This is so much better and I will now be able to take better control of my diabetes,” states Gail.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to control the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. For people living with diabetes, the pancreas does not produce any or enough insulin, or is unable to effectively use the insulin it does produce. As a result, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, potentially leading to serious health problems such as blindness, heart disease, kidney problems, amputation, nerve damage and erectile dysfunction.
The Association’s Nova Scotia Diabetes Cost Model estimates that there are currently 87,000 people, or almost 9 per cent of the population, diagnosed with diabetes in the province – increasing to more than 125,000, or 12.2 per cent of the population by 2020. These prevalence rates, which are the second highest in the country, do not include people undiagnosed with diabetes, gestational diabetes or people living with prediabetes, where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for an individual to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the government to better serve the needs of Nova Scotians living with diabetes,” added Matte.
About the Canadian Diabetes Association
The Canadian Diabetes Association is a registered charitable organization, leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our professional staff and more than 20,000 volunteers provide education and services to help people in their daily fight against the disease, advocate on behalf of people with diabetes for the opportunity to achieve their highest quality of life, and break ground towards a cure. Please visit diabetes.ca, join us on facebook.com/CanadianDiabetesAssociation, follow us on Twitter @DiabetesAssoc, or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).
For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Manager, Marketing & Communications (Atlantic Canada)
Canadian Diabetes Association
T: (902) 453-3529
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