Announcement for continuous glucose monitor funding
An announcement from the Government of Yukon is welcomed for those living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) with the news of permanently funding continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) for those 18 years and younger as well as the introduction of a glucose monitoring project for adults over 18 who choose to participate. The Yukon is the first jurisdiction in Canada to provide such coverage and comes at a time when positive news and support is much needed within the diabetes community.
“We commend the government for taking a step forward to supporting those living with diabetes,” says Russell Williams, acting President with Diabetes Canada. “The government’s leadership should signal other jurisdictions across the country to implement similar policies.”
Diabetes Canada is very grateful to the Yukon T1D Support Network whose commitment and hard work over the past two years has resulted in this great achievement. The Yukon T1D Support Network is a group of four local advocates who work hard to ensure the needs of people living with type 1 diabetes in the Yukon are being met. “Yukon’s decision to provide permanent coverage for Continuous Glucose Monitors is testament to this work and to the government’s commitment to prioritize the health and safety of residents. All Canadians living with T1D deserve access to these life-saving devices, and the Yukon T1D Support Network hopes other jurisdictions may follow the Yukon Government’s lead.” - Marney Paradis, Jill Nash, Rachel Hrebien, and Kevin Jack.
CGMs use a small sensor under the skin to measure a person’s blood sugar every few minutes. These devices can assist people in avoiding or reducing the impact of very serious low blood sugar, helping them to treat a low before it becomes severe or before they become acutely ill and unable to manage by themselves due to confusion or loss of consciousness. With proper education and if used consistently CGM has the potential to prevent life-threatening emergencies.
However, CGMs typically range in price from $3,000 to $6,000 a year, putting the technology out of reach for many people who would benefit from it. Some private plans provide CGM coverage. Public funding is limited with many required to pay the entire cost out-of-pocket.
Diabetes Canada recommends that people with type 1 diabetes who have not achieved their glycemic target should have access to a CGM to improve glycemic control. CGM gives people with type 1 diabetes a more complete picture of their blood sugar control, as opposed to a moment-in-time snapshot that comes from intermittent finger-prick testing and can lead to better short- and long-term treatment decisions and health outcomes.
“Policy makers have a critical role to appropriately guide effective and cost-effective treatment that is founded on valid scientific review,” says Williams.