Expansion of insulin pump program could save British Columbians $5.3 million
Canadian Diabetes Association releases new provincial report
VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA (May 16, 2012) – Today, the Canadian Diabetes Association released a new report, The Economic Benefit of Public Funding of Insulin Pumps in British Columbia, showing that a provincial government investment into an expanded insulin pump program to include all people living with type 1 diabetes who qualify for a pump could improve health outcomes for British Columbians and save the province up to $5.3 million per year by 2032.
The number of people with diabetes in British Columbia is expected to rise from 360,000 people in 2012 to 777,000 people in 2032—the third highest rate of growth in the country. Of this total, the estimated number of people with type 1 diabetes is 18,300 people in 2012 and is projected to rise to 30,000 by 2032.
“The quality of life for many children with type 1 diabetes has improved since the introduction of the province’s pediatric insulin pump program,” says Michael Cloutier, President and CEO, Canadian Diabetes Association. “However, less than 20 per cent of those living with type 1 diabetes in the province are eligible to participate in the current program.”
People living with type 1 diabetes are at high risk of developing serious long-term complications such as kidney failure, stroke, heart attack and limb amputation. Switching from daily insulin injections to an insulin pump can improve A1C values, reduce complications and increase the quality of life for people living with type 1 diabetes while, at the same time, provide considerable cost savings for British Columbia’s healthcare system.
“I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was eight years old,” says Heather van der Geest. “I’ve been using an insulin pump for 12 years and it has changed my life and my health. Making pumps affordable for all people living with type 1 diabetes who need one will help them to lead long and healthy lives.”
The average out-of-pocket expenses for people with type 1 diabetes who choose to use a pump to better manage their disease total well over $3,200 per year. The Canadian Diabetes Association urges the government to enhance access to diabetes medications, devices and supplies to ensure that British Columbians are equipped with the necessary tools to effectively manage their disease and prevent or delay the serious and costly complications associated with the disease.
“When British Columbia implemented a pediatric insulin pump program in 2008, it helped set the standard for the rest of Canada. It’s now time to take the next step,” adds Cloutier. “Investing into an expanded insulin pump program makes sense for both the health of British Columbians and the sustainability of the province’s healthcare system.”
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).
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