As a result of recent news stories and outreach from people living with diabetes, Diabetes Canada was made aware of the Manitoba government’s recent decision to cancel a special drug plan that exempted people from paying the deductible under the provincial drug plan program.
“People living with diabetes already face high out-of-pocket costs for diabetes management, meaning this decision will only make a bad situation even worse,” says Andrea Kwasnicki, regional director for Diabetes Canada in Manitoba.
Financial constraints limit people’s ability to effectively manage their diabetes. A considerable proportion of Canadians with diabetes, including those residing in Manitoba, cannot afford prescription medications and supplies. A person with diabetes may incur medical costs which are much higher than those of a person without diabetes. Many people with diabetes are also managing costly complications, including cardiovascular and kidney disease.
According to a previous survey of people with diabetes, 25 per cent of respondents indicated that out-of-pocket costs affects their ability to follow treatments and 11 per cent must choose between food, rent, utilities or medication. Instead of taking steps to help Manitobans address these challenges, this announcement will only weaken Manitobans’ ability to manage their diabetes.
“The government’s decision was made prematurely and without providing any support to those who will be forced to change the way they manage their diabetes,” says Kwasnicki.
Diabetes Canada is requesting a meeting with the government to learn more and officially address concerns on behalf of those living with diabetes impacted by this concerning announcement.