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Diabetes Canada welcomes the announcement of an investment to cover more drugs, including those for diabetes, in the 2019 budget recently tabled by B.C. Finance Minister Carole James. A key recommendation in Diabetes Canada’s pre-budget submission urged the government to list diabetes medications with proven efficacy on the provincial formulary in a timely fashion.

“Currently, British Columbia is the only remaining province that does not list a class of medication (SGLT2) proven to significantly reduce risk of major cardiovascular events for people with type 2 diabetes and pre-existing cardiovascular disease,” says Sheila Kern, regional director for Diabetes Canada. “We’re hopeful this announcement will improve access and affordability for medications that are essential to diabetes management and overall health.”

There are more than 1.5 million British Columbians living with diabetes or prediabetes and prevalence is predicted to increase by 35 per cent in the next 10 years. Diabetes also costs the health-care system $509 million, rising to $685 million by 2029. Diabetes is a public health concern that deserves the support and attention of the government.

“We look forward to working with the government to ensure this new investment is quickly implemented as there are many British Columbians with diabetes who are unnecessarily suffering serious health risks because of limited access to proven medications,” says Kern.

Along with the investment in more drugs, the 2019 budget also included other important health highlights:

  • Eliminated Medical Services premiums
  • Reduced or eliminated BC's Fair PharmaCare deductibles for families with household income of $45,000 or less.

Diabetes Canada has also recommended the government:

  • Implement public coverage and ensure timely access to medical devices that help treat diabetic foot ulcers and reduce the risk of amputation, in addition to increased screening and foot care;
  • Commit to supporting a national diabetes strategy for Canada - Diabetes 3600.

Category Tags: Announcements;

Region: British Columbia/Yukon

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