Canadian Diabetes Association supports ICES and St. Michael's Hospital
TORONTO, Aug. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - The increasing prevalence of diabetes in
Ontario is alarming with approximately 1.2 million Ontarians estimated
to be living with the disease. This number is projected to jump to
nearly 2 million by 2020. Equally alarming is the cost burden imposed
on Ontario by the disease - almost $5 billion in 2010 and projected to
be almost $7 billion by 2020. Eighty per cent of these costs are
attributed to serious and life-threatening complications from the
disease such as cardiovascular disease.
Accordingly, the Canadian Diabetes Association supports findings
released today from a study conducted by the Institute for Clinical
Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, which
concludes that access to affordable medications is essential for people
with diabetes to manage their disease. This is particularly true for
low-income Ontarians with diabetes younger than age 65 to lower their
risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease and improve their quality
of life. Eighty per cent of Canadians with diabetes die from a heart
attack or stroke. The report notes that low socio-economic status
(SES) is "a strong predictor of death" for people with diabetes.
Younger, low-income Canadians with diabetes face a heavier financial
burden due to their inability to afford private insurance plans and
reliance on government diabetes programs for support, which limit
public coverage for those younger than age 65. This results in greater
out-of-pocket costs if government programs do not cover the required
diabetes medications, devices and supplies. The Ontario drug formulary
only lists ten of the 25 diabetes drugs approved, two are restricted
and 13 are not listed at all. The study notes that "SES disparity in
cardiovascular disease burden falls substantially in people with
diabetes after age 65, which may be related to universal access to
prescription drugs among seniors."
The average out-of-pocket cost for a person with type 2 diabetes in
Ontario ranges from almost $2,100 to $2,800 annually depending on a
person's income and eligibility for government support according to the
Canadian Diabetes Association's report The Burden of Out-of-Pocket Costs for Canadians with Diabetes. It is particularly noteworthy that lower income Ontarians pay almost
twice as much in out-of-pocket expenses as a proportion of their income
for diabetes medications as those Ontarians with higher incomes. This
report also reveals that 57 per cent of Canadians with diabetes do not
comply with their prescribed medical therapy, because they simply
cannot afford their medications, devices and supplies, compromising how
they manage their disease. In a recent poll conducted by the Canadian
Medical Association for the 12th Annual National Report Card on Health Care, 24 per cent of those in the lower-income category had either delayed
or stopped buying prescription drugs, compared with just 3 per cent of
those earning $60,000 or more.
"People with diabetes incur substantial costs to manage their disease.
These costs are particularly difficult for low-income Canadians, such
as those who do not receive social assistance or those who have high
drug costs, but do not qualify for other forms of assistance," said Dr.
Janet Hux, Chief Scientific Advisor, Canadian Diabetes Association.
"To prevent or delay even more costly and devastating health
complications, people with diabetes deserve equal and affordable access
to essential medications, supplies and medical devices, regardless of
age, income level and where they live in Canada."
Another Association report Diabetes: Canada at the Tipping Point—Charting a New Path found that in addition to low-income Canadians, other populations in
Canada carry a heavier diabetes burden such as Aboriginal peoples,
immigrants, some ethnocultural communities, and women in these
subpopulations. Equal and timely access to medications as clinically
appropriate is important for all Canadians, especially for those with
chronic diseases such as diabetes and related complications.
"Federal, provincial and territorial governments should commit to a
strategy to enhance pharmacare coverage in Canada such that the cost to
an individual for diabetes medication, supplies and medical devices, as
well as the costs associated with diabetes-related complications, are
not a barrier or a burden to managing the disease. This strategy
should include catastrophic drug coverage and a pan-Canadian drug
formulary," added Dr. Hux.
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:
For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
National Manager, Media Relations & External Communications
Canadian Diabetes Association
T: (416) 408-7071