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In light of an anticipated government policy, the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) is working to ensure that access to blood glucose test strips for self-management of diabetes will be based on individual needs. This concern is raised in the context of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s 2016 budget speech which mentioned reductions to come.

Rick Blickstead, president and CEO, CDA, says: “There are an estimated 180,000 people in Newfoundland and Labrador with diabetes or prediabetes. That’s 35 per cent of the population – the highest rate in Canada. Given the toll diabetes can take by causing strokes, heart attacks, blindness, amputation and kidney failure – we need to give people the tools to manage diabetes as well as they can.”

 “The CDA has offered input to proposed changes to the province’s provincial drug plan,” says Dr. Jan Hux, chief science officer, CDA. “The CDA's primary recommendation is to provide access to test strips based on individual self-management of blood glucose needs as reflected in our Clinical Practice Guidelines. We will continue to advocate for this approach on behalf of all Canadians living with diabetes,” says Hux.

Although specific changes by the government have yet to be formally announced, the CDA Clinical Practice Guidelines recommend that blood glucose testing be individualized to each person’s circumstances. This recognizes that people with diabetes each have different needs with many using particular medications or having other health conditions requiring more frequent testing while others may need to test less often.

To meet individual needs, the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program would require appropriate overall policies and exception processes that should not become barriers to care.

Category Tags: Announcements;

Region: Atlantic (PE, NB, NS, NL)

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