The provincial government is expanding insulin pump coverage, so any British Columbians requiring one to manage diabetes will have access under PharmaCare.
"For many individuals diagnosed with diabetes, insulin pumps can have a positive impact on their health. It allows them to better manage their condition, improving their quality of life and well-being, and preventing serious secondary conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to nerve damage," said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
Up until now, many people over the age of 25 who rely on an insulin pump to manage their chronic disease have been forced to choose between purchasing the device for their health, or foregoing it due to cost.
With this change in coverage, taking effect on July 3, 2018, B.C. becomes one of only three provinces to cover insulin pumps for people living with diabetes requiring one, regardless of age.
About 485,000 British Columbians live with diabetes. It is expected that roughly 830 adults over 25 years of age will benefit from the expansion in the first year.
While not required for all individuals diagnosed with diabetes, insulin pumps offer many people a reliable and stable way of monitoring and scheduling insulin doses, adding to their quality of life.
Insulin pumps can range in cost from about $6,000 to $7,000, and require replacing roughly every five years.
The anticipated cost of expanding insulin pump coverage to all eligible British Columbians, no matter their age, will be about $15 million over three years.
Patients must meet with their diabetes physician specialist to determine whether they meet the eligibility criteria for an insulin pump. The patient's physician would then apply to PharmaCare's special authority department for insulin pump coverage.