The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) has long been raising awareness about the importance for equal access to diabetes medications, devices and supplies. As type 2 diabetes rates continue to rise to epidemic levels, the CDA works to advocate for new prevention policies for both the disease itself and its complications. Action is needed now to ensure those who currently live with the disease are given timely access and affordable medications that are essential to their diabetes management and overall health.
Recent news from British Columbia highlights one individual’s struggle with accessing a medication for diabetes management. In that province, a particular class of medications recommended for some people living with type 2 diabetes requiring additional blood glucose lowering therapy is not publicly funded. It is the only remaining province to not list this class of medication on the provincial formulary. Unfortunately stories such as this one are not unique and in Canada, it does matter where you live when it comes to living with diabetes. Optimizing patient-centred care means allowing people with diabetes and their health-care team to develop an individualized diabetes management plan that is not contingent on access issues or barriers.
“To prevent or delay even more costly and devastating health complications, people with diabetes deserve equal and affordable access to medications, supplies and medical devices, regardless of age, income level and where they live in Canada,” says Sheila Kern, regional director for British Columbia and Yukon at the CDA. “The CDA welcomes the opportunity to meet with elected officials, to present the latest evidence—and urge federal, provincial and territorial governments to take immediate action.”