Diabetes Canada sent the following letter to Minister Copping, requesting a meeting to address recent announced changes to the Alberta Insulin Pump Therapy Program.
May, 10, 2022
Hon. Jason Copping
Minister of Health
Legislative Assembly of Alberta
Dear Minister Copping;
Re: Termination of the Alberta Pump Therapy Program (IPTP)
Following overwhelming feedback from distraught Albertans and a consultation at our request with Alberta Health staff on May 5th, Diabetes Canada requests a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss this urgent issue. We ask that you suspend the plan to dismantle the IPTP by August 1st and initiate a meaningful consultation with the diabetes community. Diabetes Canada is extremely concerned about the negative impact this decision will have on the health of Albertans enrolled in the IPTP and the additional costs they will be forced to incur.
Albertans living with type 1 diabetes not only live with difficult health issues every day, but also bear a significant financial burden. We know that added costs adversely affect the ability of some to manage their disease optimally, which impacts quality of life and risks their short- and long-term health.
We have heard from Albertans who will be unable to pay the premium and co-pay imposed by the new policy. This will leave them with no other choice but to resume multiple daily injections of insulin and effectively compromise their ability to manage their diabetes. In some cases, it may force Albertans to make difficult choices between paying for needed diabetes drugs, devices, and supplies, or paying for necessities like rent or food. Additionally, we have heard from Albertans living with type 1 diabetes that their private plans do not routinely cover insulin pumps, or their plans are capped at an annual maximum, which further increases out-of-pocket costs for diabetes management. This may also result in the unintended consequences of increasing medical interventions in the public health system.
Diabetes Canada advocates for placing people at the centre of policy decisions to ensure equitable access to evidence-based treatments, including diabetes medications, devices, and supplies. But access that causes undue financial and emotional burden to Canadians who are losing valued coverage is problematic at best and unethical at worst. We urge you to reconsider these program changes as announced.
Diabetes Canada is receiving many calls and emails from distressed individuals who anticipate having to make tough choices if the IPTP is cancelled. The emotional impact alone on individuals affected by this decision is difficult to calculate, but impossible to ignore.
While having access to more insulin pump choices is an important part of individual diabetes management, we are opposed to the government’s current plan to impose cost-saving measures on the backs of those currently enrolled in the IPTP.
Please confirm a meeting opportunity as soon as possible with Joan.email@example.com.
Senior Vice-President, Mission
Cc: Paul Wynnyk, DM, Health, Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org
Category Tags: Advocacy & Policy;