VICTORA - British Columbians up to age 25 who require an insulin pump to manage their type 1 diabetes will now be covered by BC PharmaCare beginning April 1, 2014, announced Health Minister Terry Lake.
"The need to constantly balance insulin doses with food and activities can be a challenge for anyone with diabetes, especially young British Columbians," said Lake. "For some, an insulin pump provides stability and better monitoring. Expanding coverage to include young adults will help offset financial costs for many families."
Currently, BC PharmaCare's insulin pump program covers anyone 18 years and younger who meet specific criteria for the reimbursement of insulin pumps and supplies. This announcement extends that coverage to include those who are transitioning to early adulthood, and may not have access to third-party insurance coverage, or who cannot afford to buy an insulin pump. The average cost of an insulin pump is about $6,500. PharmaCare will cover the cost of a pump up to $6,600.
"We applaud the Government of British Columbia for extending the provincial insulin pump program to age 25," said Canadian Diabetes Association regional director, Sue Taylor. "This is a great next step in ensuring people with diabetes have the tools they need to better manage their disease, ultimately improving their health and quality of life."
Since 2008, BC PharmaCare has covered the cost of insulin pumps for patients 18 years of age and younger who are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes or other forms of diabetes requiring insulin. Since that time, almost 1,300 children have received insulin pumps at a cost of $6.4 million.
- PharmaCare covers effective therapies for the treatment and management of diabetes, including nine oral medications and 16 insulin products. PharmaCare also covers insulin vials, cartridges (for pumps), and insulin pens.
- Supplies for insulin pumps, such as reservoirs and infusion sets, are also covered for both children and all adults.
- Additionally, PharmaCare covers other diabetic supplies including needles, syringes, and blood glucose test strips.
- B.C. also offers doctors incentives and supports in managing diabetes:
- The majority of family doctors in B.C. now use the provincial guidelines for treating and managing diabetes, which were developed by the ministry and the doctors of B.C.
- In 2012-13, more than 3,200 family doctors received B.C.'s diabetes management incentive payment, for over 190,000 patients. This payment supports doctors in offering diabetes patients continuous care to better manage their condition.
Learn more about BC PharmaCare at: www.health.gov.bc.ca/pharmacare
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)