Public funding for insulin pumps could save Nova Scotia over one million dollars

Personal Costs of Managing Diabetes Reaches Breaking Point

HALIFAX, Nov. 16, 2011 /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 Nova Scotians with diabetes and save the province up to $1.4 million by 2032.

"People living with type 1 diabetes are at high-risk of developing serious long-term complications, such as kidney failure, heart attack, and limb amputation," said Michael Cloutier, President and CEO, Canadian Diabetes Association. "The Economic Benefit of Public Funding for Insulin Pumps in Nova Scotia 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 Nova Scotia's healthcare system more than a million dollars over the next 20 years."

Nova Scotia is currently one of the few provinces in Canada that does not offer any funding for insulin pumps. People with type 1 diabetes who are clinically eligible to use a pump to better manage their disease face average out-of-pocket expenses totaling between $4,000 and $7,000 per year, which are costs that few can afford.

"Since my nine year old daughter Danielle started using an insulin pump, we feel relieved and extremely fortunate," says Halifax resident Jay Cassivi. "This device has been a life changer for our entire family. Danielle has lost that fear factor that was so prominent when it came to all decisions made around her diabetes. The insulin pump has restored the 'child' in Danielle."

Insulin pump users are not the only people in the province that face unmanageable diabetes-related expenses. According to another new report by the Association, The Burden of Out-of-Pocket Costs for Canadians with Diabetes, the average out-of-pocket expenses (for diabetes medications, devices and supplies) for a Nova Scotian living with type 2 diabetes is approximately $3,000 per year. This sum is well-above the provincial average, and amongst the highest in the country.

To help Canadians with diabetes effectively manage their disease, the Canadian Diabetes Association urges governments to address out-of-pocket expenses by enhancing financial assistance for people living with diabetes—in order to ensure access and affordability to diabetes medications, devices and supplies.

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

Latest statistics from the Nova Scotia Diabetes Cost Model estimates that 87,000 people in Nova Scotia were diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes in 2010 - representing approximately 9 per cent of the population. By 2020, that number is expected to reach 125,000 or 12.2 per cent of the population. The current prevalence rates are well above the national average, and are the second highest in the country.

About the Canadian Diabetes Association
Across the country, the Canadian Diabetes Association is leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our community-based network of supporters help us provide education and services to people living with diabetes, advocate for our cause, break ground towards a cure and translate research into practical applications. 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:

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

Sherry Calder
Manager, Marketing & Communications (Atlantic)
Canadian Diabetes Association
sherry.calder@diabetes.ca
Office: (902) 453-3529
Cell: (902) 221-1162

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Canadian Diabetes Association

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