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Access to medications, devices and supplies

Your right to access medications, devices & supplies

If you have diabetes, we believe you should be able to get the right medication at the right time. You should have access to affordable treatments that allow you to achieve and maintain an excellent quality of life.

Access to the medications, devices and supplies that best meet your needs can reduce your risk of complications and help you to avoid hospitalizations.

Evidence-based diabetes treatments should be made available through public plans for all those who require them. Federal, provincial and territorial governments must ensure that the cost of diabetes medication, devices and supplies, and the costs associated with diabetes-related complications, are not a barrier or a burden to managing the disease.

For more information, view Diabetes Canada's position on access to medications, devices & supplies.

Determining your medication, device & supply coverage

Federal, provincial and territorial governments are responsible for administering public drug benefit programs in Canada for specific groups (e.g. seniors), based on eligibility criteria. 

Coverage eligibility

Eligibility for public drug coverage is based on age, income and other factors. Coverage of medications, devices and supplies is often subject to income-related deductibles and co-payments.

Each provincial, territorial, private, and employer health plan has its own list of medications, devices and supplies that it covers—this list is called a formulary. 

Read the medications formulary chart to see the medications covered by each provincial/territorial drug plan and the Non-Insured Health Benefits program (NIHB).

Your medications, devices and supplies may not be fully covered, even if you are a member of an insurance plan (public or private). Check the details of your plan or contact your benefits provider to find out more about the terms and conditions of your coverage.

Insulin pumps & pump supplies

Most provinces and territories have insulin pump and pump supplies programs, but eligibility criteria and coverage vary.

Coverage denial

If you were denied coverage for a drug or device, review your insurance plan for the conditions that must be met. Discuss these with your health care team to see if you might be eligible. If there is no coverage available, talk to your team about alternative treatment options.

When medication isn't available in Canada

If your medication isn't available in Canada, your doctor can apply to Health Canada’s Special Access Program (SAP) on your behalf. There may be some out-of-pocket costs associated with this program. Please visit this information page for more details.

Contact us for support

For support and more information about your rights.

Information and support services

1-800-BANTING (226-8464)

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Our public positions

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