Access to diabetes medications, devices and supplies, regardless of age, income level and where a person lives, is critical in helping people manage their diabetes and reducing life-threatening complications,. Unfortunately, across Canada, coverage is inconsistent when it comes to treatments that optimize care for a person living with diabetes.
Recent studies show that specific newer drugs within the GLP-1R agonist and SGLT-2 inhibitor classes of medications decrease risk for certain adverse outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes and pre-existing cardiovascular disease. In response to current evidence, both Alberta and Saskatchewan have made empagliflozin, an SGLT-2 inhibitor, available as additional therapy for individuals with type 2 diabetes and clinical cardiovascular disease who have inadequate glycemic control despite existing pharmacotherapy.
Prior to this change, all people covered by the provincial plans in Saskatchewan and Alberta with type 2 diabetes, including individuals with cardiovascular disease, had to pay out-of-pocket to access these recommended treatments. If unaffordable, patients simply went without these effective and life-saving treatments.
Diabetes Canada believes that drug policies need to be developed with the goal to optimize patient outcomes. Diabetes Canada’s Clinical Practice Guidelines recommend that people living with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease have access to antihyperglycemic medicines that could reduce risk of cardiovascular death, incidence of hospitalization due to cardiovascular disease and progression of nephropathy. For Canada to prosper, it needs productive, healthy members with access to diabetes therapy options no matter where a person lives.