Government funds insulin pump program for Albertans

Canadian Diabetes Association applauds new publicly-funded program

EDMONTON, March 7, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Diabetes Association commends the Government of Alberta for today's 2013 provincial budget announcement of a new insulin pump therapy program for eligible Albertans living with type 1 diabetes.

"We applaud the Government of Alberta for its commitment and investment into diabetes," says Quincey Kirschner, Government Relations Director, British Columbia and Alberta, Canadian Diabetes Association. "This program will not only improve the health and quality of life for many Albertans living with type 1 diabetes, but will also improve the sustainability of the province's healthcare system."

Insulin pumps are an alternative technology to multiple daily insulin injections for intensive therapy of diabetes.  About the size of a pager, the portable, programmable insulin pumps deliver fast-acting insulin through plastic tubing connected to an insertion site on the body. Switching from daily insulin injections to an insulin pump can offer better control of blood glucose levels, reduce costs to the healthcare system and increase the quality of life for thousands of Albertans living with type 1 diabetes.

"My six-year-old son Max was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 14 months and started using an insulin pump after his third birthday," says Michelle MacPhee, Calgary resident. "Max loved his pump from the very start; it meant that he didn't have to take painful multiple daily injections. He no longer had to fear all of those needles. The pump has made a huge difference. Now Max feels so much better, has more energy and can enjoy life much like any other kid. In the longer term, research has proven that there are likely to also be fewer health complications, because he's better able to manage his diabetes."

Diabetes in Alberta is expected to rise from 245,000 people in 2012 to 544,000 people by 2032. Of this total, the estimated number of people living with type 1 diabetes is estimated at 13,800 people in 2012, and is projected to rise to 24,400 by 2032. From 2010 to 2020, Alberta will experience a 67 per cent increase in diabetes diagnoses—the highest rate increase in Canada.

"The Association looks forward to working closely with government to ensure that the program meets the needs of all eligible Albertans living with type 1 diabetes who would benefit from an insulin pump," adds Kirschner.

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

For further information:

or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Randi Gill
Communications Manager, Western Canada
Canadian Diabetes Association
Tel: (204) 925-3800, ext. 234
Cell: (204) 588-7724
randi.gill@diabetes.ca