Diabetes Canada is pleased to see the Saskatchewan government’s budget announcement that included removing age restrictions from the insulin pump program and the funding of Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) and Flash Glucose Monitors for children and youth under age 18.
“We applaud the government’s great next steps in supporting people living with diabetes in the province,” says Joan King, Director of Provincial Government Relations, West for Diabetes Canada. “This announcement comes at a pivotal time in diabetes history as 2021 marks the 100th year of the discovery of insulin. Yet a century later, the problem of diabetes is bigger than ever, and this reinforces the need to work together to end diabetes.”
As announced in the Provincial Budget, Saskatchewan now joins the four other provinces in Canada that ensure pump therapy is an option for all clinically eligible people living with diabetes, regardless of age. The Insulin Pump Program expansion will also include insulin pump supplies. In addition, the province will provide coverage for Continuous and Flash Glucose Monitors (CGM/FGM) and related supplies at no cost for children and youth under 18 who meet specific medical criteria. Diabetes Canada’s recommends that people with diabetes who would derive clinical benefit from them should have access to glucose monitoring systems to improve glycemic control. These devices give people with diabetes a more complete picture of their blood sugar management than the moment-in-time snapshot that comes from intermittent finger-prick testing and can therefore lead to better short- and long-term treatment decisions and health outcomes.
Coverage will be available as of June 1, 2021.
In Saskatchewan, there are more than 320,000 people living with diabetes or prediabetes and prevalence is predicted to increase to 395,000 in just 10 years. Diabetes also costs the health-care system $108 million, rising to $137 million by 2031. Eighty per cent of the costs of diabetes are related to caring for its complications, including kidney failure, stroke, heart attack, blindness and limb amputation.
“We’re hopeful this announcement will encourage other jurisdictions to introduce similar policies that can improve the health and safety of people living with diabetes,” adds King. “We acknowledge the government of Saskatchewan for making this important investment and encourage ongoing expansion of medication, devices, supplies and care for all citizens living with diabetes.”
More information about the insulin pump program can be found at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/health/accessing-health-care-services/insulin-pump-program. For the new CGM/FGM benefit, all children under 18 who are covered by the Saskatchewan Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Program will receive an email discussing application and assessment processes. Further details regarding the changes and qualifying medical criteria can be directed to the Drug Plan at 1-800-667-2549.