Public funding for insulin pumps could bring major savings to Prince Edward Island health care system

PEI is only one of two provinces in Canada that does not offer or have commitment to a publicly funded insulin pump program

CHARLOTTETOWN, Dec. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Diabetes Association released a new report today that shows a provincial government investment into a publicly funded insulin pump program could improve health outcomes for Prince Edward Islanders with diabetes and save the province up to $470,000 by 2032.

"People living with type 1 diabetes are at a high risk of developing serious long-term complications, such as kidney failure, heart attack, and limb amputation," said Regional Director, Canadian Diabetes Association, Lisa Matte. "The Economic Benefit of Public Funding for Insulin Pumps in Prince Edward Island report shows that switching from daily insulin injections to an insulin pump can reduce complications and increase the quality of life for people living with type 1 diabetes while, at the same time, save PEI's healthcare system almost half a million dollars over the next 20 years."

Prince Edward Island is currently one of only two provinces in Canada that does not currently offer or have a commitment to a publicly funded insulin pump. Prince Edward Islanders living with type 1 diabetes who use insulin pumps face among the highest out-of-pocket costs for people with diabetes across Canada. At almost $5,700 annually, costs for Islanders are consistently above the national average.

"Since I started using an insulin pump, I feel like I have total control over my life, whereas before the pump I felt like the disease was controlling my life," says Anthony Millar of Tyne Valley. "Having an insulin pump is beneficial to me, thanks to my fiancée's medical insurance.  I wouldn't know what to do if I ever had to go back to injections again."

"Working together, we can make a difference," said Matte. "Investing into a publicly funded insulin pump program makes sense both for the health of Islanders and the sustainability of the province's healthcare system."

The latest statistics from the Prince Edward Island Diabetes Cost Model estimates that 13,000 people in Prince Edward Island were diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes in 2012 - representing approximately nine per cent of the population. By 2032, that number is expected to reach 25,000 or 14.4 per cent of the population.

About the Canadian Diabetes Association

The Canadian Diabetes Association is a registered charitable organization, leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our professional staff and more than 20,000 volunteers provide education and services to help people in their daily fight against the disease, advocate on behalf of people with diabetes for the opportunity to achieve their highest quality of life, and break ground towards a cure. Please visit diabetes.ca, join us on facebook.com/CanadianDiabetesAssociation, follow us on Twitter @DiabetesAssoc, or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

SOURCE: Canadian Diabetes Association

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For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Sherry Calder
Senior Manager, Regional Communications
Canadian Diabetes Association
sherry.calder@diabetes.ca
Cell: (902) 221-1162