The Ontario Ministry of Health recently announced public funding for flash glucose monitoring systems under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program, effective September 16, 2019. All ODB recipients managing with insulin therapy with a valid prescription from a physician or nurse practitioner are eligible to receive the glucose monitoring system.
“Individuals living with diabetes deserve to have timely and affordable access to the glucose monitoring method that suits their clinical needs, based on consultation with their health-care team,” says Seema Nagpal, vice president of Science and Policy with Diabetes Canada. “This announcement expands glucose monitoring options for those who may not have been able to access this type of system. Many Ontarians will benefit from this announcement.”
Flash glucose monitoring is one method of monitoring blood glucose to ensure the safety of people taking insulin and some oral medications by detecting or preventing low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Other methods include Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM) and Self-Monitoring with test strips and meters (SMBG). How frequently people must monitor glucose depends on the type of diabetes they have, their treatment regimen, and their risk of low blood sugar.
Diabetes Canada is encouraged that the Government of Ontario reviewed and acted on Health Quality Ontario’s (HQO) recommendations on funding for flash glucose monitoring, and urges the government to act on HQO’s previous recommendations to publicly fund CGM for people with type 1 diabetes who have either severe low blood sugar or low blood sugar unawareness and who are willing to use the technology continuously. This would be a further step toward helping more people optimally manage their diabetes. “Access to the right medications, devices and services with appropriate education and support will help patients achieve the best possible outcomes,” says Nagpal.
Ontario and Quebec are the only two provinces to publicly fund flash glucose monitoring systems. Diabetes Canada looks forward to continued conversations with the Ontario Ministry of Health to determine the status of the CGM public funding recommendation and encourage support for a nation-wide diabetes strategy, Diabetes 3600.
Some helpful information regarding the announcement:
- Funding is for Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) recipients using insulin therapy
- ODB recipients include:
- Children & youth under 25 years of age who qualify for OHIP+
- Trillium Drug Program clients
- Seniors 65 years of age and older
- Ontario Works clients
- Ontario Disability Support Program clients
- Clients living in a home for special care, LTC, etc.
- Funding will cover both the reader and sensors
- Dispensed directly through pharmacy
- The maximum number of sensors covered in any 365-day period is 33
Individuals looking for more details about this government announcement can visit : http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/drugs/opdp_eo/notices/exec_office_20190912.pdf
About Diabetes Canada
Diabetes Canada is the registered national charitable organization that is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Diabetes Canada partners with Canadians to End Diabetes through:
- Resources for health-care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
- Advocacy to governments, schools and workplaces; and
- Funding world-leading Canadian research to improve treatments and find a cure.