Ontario Funds Free Insulin Pumps For Adults


    McGuinty Government Moving Forward on Diabetes Strategy

    TORONTO, Aug. 31 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Each year, over 1300 adults with type 1 diabetes will receive free
insulin pumps under a new Ontario program that begins in September.
    The government will pay 100 per cent of the price - $6,300 - for an
insulin pump, as well as provide an annual grant of $2,400 to help pay for
supplies.
    The Adult Insulin Pump Program is part of the government's $741 million
comprehensive strategy to prevent, manage and treat diabetes which was
announced in July. The diabetes strategy supports Ontario's top two
health-care priorities of improving access to care and reducing emergency wait
times by helping to keep Ontarians healthier.
    An insulin pump is a small battery-operated device about the size of a
pager that is worn on a belt or in a pocket. The device substitutes for
self-injections by pumping insulin into the body through a catheter (or a thin
tube and very fine needle) inserted under the skin. The catheter is changed
regularly, usually two or three times a week.
    Applications for insulin pumps and supplies can be made through
registered diabetes education centres throughout Ontario. Each centre's
program has a multidisciplinary team of health professionals to determine
eligibility for an insulin pump as well as to assist in completing the
application form. Once registered, the teams provide ongoing care and support.

    QUOTES

    "Covering the cost of insulin pumps for adult Ontarians with type 1
diabetes is a crucial component of our diabetes strategy," said David Caplan,
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "By improving the way we prevent, treat
and manage diabetes, thousands of Ontarians will benefit from a better quality
of life."
    "Expanding the insulin pump program to include eligible adults ensures
continuity of therapy to type 1 diabetics beyond the age of 19, and guarantees
these patients the necessary options for effective diabetes care," said Dr.
Bruce Perkins, chair of the Insulin Pump and Supplies for Adults Expert Panel.
    "Providing Ontarians with type 1 diabetes the tools they require to
effectively manage their disease is a great step forward," said Ellen
Malcolmson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Diabetes
Association.

    QUICK FACTS-   An estimated 45,000 - 90,000 Ontarians live with type 1 diabetes.
    -   The number of Ontarians with diabetes has increased by 69 per cent
        over the last 10 years and is projected to grow to 1.2 million from
        900,000 by 2010.
    -   Treatment for diabetes and related conditions such as heart disease,
        stroke and kidney disease currently cost Ontario over $5 billion each
        year.

    LEARN MORE

    Read the fact sheet on the Adult Insulin Pump Program
(http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/program/adp/insulin_pump_faq.html)
 online

    Read more about the Diabetes
Strategy(http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/media/news_releases/archives/nr_0
8/jul/nr_20080722.html) online

    Read more on health promotion and chronic disease prevention at
    HealthyOntario.com(http://www.healthyontario.com/).

    For public inquires call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161
    (Toll-free in Ontario only)

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                                                                BACKGROUNDER
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                         ADULT INSULIN PUMP PROGRAM

                                                             August 31, 2008The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's Assistive Devices Program
will pay 100 per cent of the price for an insulin pump. Payment of $6,300 is
made directly to the vendor of choice on the applicant's behalf once funding
is approved. An annual grant of $2,400 is also provided for supplies. Four
cheques in equal amounts, on a quarterly basis (i.e., $600 per cheque) will be
paid to the insulin pump user. Insulin pumps can be purchased from any vendor
who is registered with the Assistive Devices Program. Insulin pump related
supplies may be purchased from any vendor in Ontario who sells these products.

    ELIGIBILITY

    Insulin pump therapy is complex and requires access to care that is
provided by a specialized multi-disciplinary team of health professionals.
    Permanent residents of Ontario, living with type 1 diabetes can apply for
an insulin pump by contacting one of the Diabetes Education Teams registered
with the ministry. Applicants must have a valid health card and meet the
established eligibility criteria to qualify. Education teams are located
throughout Ontario and consist of multidisciplinary health professionals who
determine eligibility for the insulin pumps and assist with application forms.
    Those not having success with multiple daily insulin injections and are
willing and able to use an insulin pump may be eligible. Patients must
demonstrate an ongoing commitment to blood glucose monitoring, safe and proper
use of the insulin pump, participation in an insulin pump education program
and regular attendance at a diabetes clinic.

    THREE MAIN TYPES OF DIABETES

    Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in Ontario and Canada. About
900,000 Ontarians currently live with diabetes (8.8 per cent of the province's
population) and the number is expected to increase to 1.2 million in Ontario
by 2010. In addition to the human costs of the illness, the disease has a
significant impact on the provincial health care system with diabetes and its
complications costing the province more than $5 billion a year. More than
90 per cent of all people with diabetes have type 2 and fewer than 10 per cent
have type 1.-   Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce
        insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body control the level
        of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed
        in childhood and adolescence. About 10 per cent of people with
        diabetes have type 1 diabetes.
    -   Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough
        insulin or when the body does not effectively use the insulin that is
        produced. It usually develops in adulthood, though children can
        develop type 2 diabetes as well. Type 2 diabetes accounts for most of
        the remaining 90 per cent of people with the illness.
    -   A third type, gestational diabetes, is usually a temporary condition
        that occurs during pregnancy.

    THE DIABETES STRATEGY

    Ontario is investing $741 million over the next four years in a
comprehensive diabetes strategy that aims to prevent, manage and treat
diabetes across the province. Beyond insulin pump therapy other components of
the diabetes strategy include:

    -   increasing access to team-based care
    -   diabetes prevention
    -   diabetes registry
    -   chronic kidney disease services
    -   bariatric surgery centres of excellence.

    For public inquires call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161
    (Toll-free in Ontario only)

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For further information: Media Contacts: Steve Erwin, Minister's Office,
(416) 326-3986; Mark Nesbitt, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416)
314-6197