By Patrick Tohill, Government Relations Director at JDRF Canada
JDRF is excited to be launching our new Access for All campaign this week to urge provincial and territorial governments, insurers and employers to help make life-changing technologies such as continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and flash glucose monitoring (FGM) affordable and accessible for Canadians with type 1 diabetes.
When it comes to managing T1D, the two most important aspects of diabetes care are the administration of insulin (by pump or multiple daily injections) and maintaining a constant and accurate measurement of blood sugar. Advanced glucose monitoring technologies, such as CGM and FGM, significantly improve the ability of those with type 1 to maintain a constant and accurate measurement of blood sugar, regardless of whether insulin is delivered via an insulin pump or multiple daily injections.
They take much of the guesswork out of blood sugar management, by providing users a more complete picture as to what’s happening with their blood sugar over the course of the day. With traditional “finger-stick” blood testing, many daily highs and lows were missed. The ability to track and understand how one’s blood sugar may “go low” at a certain point each day or “go high” at another helps people with T1D adjust their diet and routine so they can avoid highs and lows that might send them to a clinic, a hospital emergency room…or worse.
More data leads to better decision making and evidence shows that these devices can help lower overall blood glucose (HbA1C) as well as help users spend more time in target range. So, in addition to keeping people out of the hospital, advanced glucose monitoring devices may be expected to significantly reduce the probability of long-term complications such heart attack, stroke and nerve damage, long-term complications that are extremely costly to taxpayers and absolutely devastating for the individual and those who love them.
At present, these devices cost thousands of dollars annually placing them out of reach for the average Canadian. And while most employee benefit plans now cover FGM and many also now cover CGM, this leaves the bulk of the population to either go out-of-pocket to cover the expense themselves or do without.
Our #AccessForAll campaign aims to increase public (provincial government) and private (employer insurance) coverage for these advanced glucose monitoring technologies, helping Canadians with T1D to achieve tighter control over their blood glucose and making them affordable for all Canadians with T1D.
You can support JDRF’s Access For All campaign by sending a meeting request to your provincial representative today. Explain how advanced glucose monitoring devices are life-changing for those with T1D and why it’s important provincial governments make them affordable and help reduce costs for their constituents.
Take action today by meeting, calling or writing to your provincial representative to urge them to support reimbursement for these technologies. If you or someone you love lives with T1D, feel free to add some personal details. Your story will help them understand just how valuable these technologies can be in helping to manage T1D.
This is just the first step in the fight to change the day-to-day lives of Canadians with T1D.
If enough of us speak up, we can make a greater impact and our demand for accessible and affordable diabetes care will be heard. Lend your voice to this campaign and help us get #AccessForAll.