August 2nd, 2023 – British Columbia – The Government of British Columbia announced yesterday that the FreeStyle Libre, a flash glucose monitoring (Flash GM) device, will be covered by BC PharmaCare as a limited-coverage benefit for people living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) beginning August 1st 2023.
Prior to this announcement, public coverage in British Columbia was limited to only the Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor (CGM).
JDRF is a strong proponent of equitable access to a variety of T1D technologies, including pumps, CGMs and Flash GMs. People living with T1D deserve to be able to choose which device is most suitable to both meet their health needs and best manage their disease. Yesterday’s announcement improves patient choice by adding another device that is publicly covered for British Columbians living with T1D.
In British Columbia, it is estimated that 34,000 people live with T1D. For these individuals, managing their condition daily involves monitoring their blood glucose levels and administering insulin through injections or insulin pumps. Each insulin dosage needs to be meticulously tailored, taking into account their carbohydrate intake and physical activity. Despite this careful management, people with T1D still remain vulnerable to a variety of serious complications such as kidney disease, vision impairment, amputation, and even death.
Use of devices like Flash GMs have been shown to reduce hospitalizations and the risk of longer-term complications for its users. They also help to ease some of the anxiety from living with T1D by allowing individuals to better plan activities around the disease including exercise, meals, and rest. These devices are not simply a luxury – they are lifesaving technologies.
Through its #AccessForAll advocacy campaign, JDRF Canada has been working to help make a variety of T1D technologies affordable and accessible for all Canadians living with the disease. In doing so, this campaign works to improve lives by helping to alleviate the financial, physical, and mental health burdens associated with T1D.
“JDRF Canada celebrates the announcement from British Columbia to offer greater patient choice to those living with type 1 diabetes. By introducing a flash glucose monitor into its coverage, the Government of British Columbia recognizes the value of proper diabetes management and how diabetes technology can benefit not just the patient, but also the healthcare systems that support them. We applaud this decision to enable safer and healthier lives for everyone living with type 1 diabetes” says Dave Prowten, CEO of JDRF Canada.
In 2022, JDRF commissioned a cost effectiveness study to support advocacy efforts towards expanded provincial public coverage. The study examined population level impact on diabetes-related complications, mortality, and cost effectiveness of the three glucose monitoring techniques used by adults with T1D in Canada. While provincial coverage of these devices represents a high short-term investment, it is overshadowed by significant long-term cost savings due to reduced complications, hospitalizations, and additional medical interventions.
Since 2019, JDRF’s Access for All campaign has engaged passionate advocates from T1D communities across the country with proven results. With support from JDRF, they are making their voices heard and has driven change in several provinces and territories to improve access.
About JDRF Canada
JDRF Canada is the leading charitable organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research in Canada. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. Since our founding in 1974, JDRF has invested more than $80 million CDN in research funding. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, governments, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout Canada and five international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our shared vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.ca.