Expansion of insulin pump program could save Newfoundlanders and Labradorians $1.3 million

Canadian Diabetes Association releases new provincial report

ST. JOHN’S, Dec. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, the Canadian Diabetes Association released a new report, The Economic Benefit of Expanding Public Funding of Insulin Pumps in Newfoundland and Labrador. The report reveals that a provincial government investment into an expanded insulin pump program to include all people living with type 1 diabetes who qualify for a pump, beyond the current age limit of 25, could improve health outcomes for residents and also save the province up to $1.3 million per year by 2032.

The number of people with diabetes in Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to rise from 52,000 people in 2012 to 97,000 people in 2032. At 10 per cent, the province already has the highest prevalence rate of diabetes in Canada.  Of this total, the estimated number of people with type 1 diabetes is 2,700 people in 2012 and that number is projected to rise to 3,400 by 2032.

"The quality of life for many individuals under the age of 25 with type 1 diabetes has improved since the introduction of the province's insulin pump program," says Regional Director, Canadian Diabetes Association, Carol Ann Smith.  "By expanding the existing program to include all persons with type 1 diabetes, this province will see better health outcomes."

People living with type 1 diabetes are at high risk of developing serious long-term complications such as kidney failure, stroke, heart attack and limb amputation.  Switching from daily insulin injections to an insulin pump can improve A1C values, reduce complications and increase the quality of life for people living with type 1 diabetes while, at the same time, provide considerable cost savings for Newfoundland and Labrador's healthcare system.

"Since switching to using an insulin pump, I truly feel that I don't live with type 1 diabetes; it lives with me," says 24-year-old St. John's resident, Andrew Codner. "The pump has given me freedom that I could never enjoy with just using needles. It has changed my life completely. My wish is that others my age and older also have the opportunity to benefit from a publicly funded insulin pump program in our province."

The average out-of-pocket expenses for people who qualify for the current insulin pump program in Newfoundland and Labrador is just under $3,000 per year. Those who wish to use a pump but do not qualify for funding because they are beyond age 25 must pay far higher costs. These higher costs can make these devices inaccessible for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians over age 25.

The Canadian Diabetes Association is urging the government to enhance access to diabetes medications, devices and supplies. This will ensure that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are equipped with the necessary tools to effectively manage their disease and prevent or delay the serious and far more costly complications associated with the disease.

"When Newfoundland and Labrador was the first province in Atlantic Canada to implement an insulin pump program, it helped set the standard for the rest of Canada.  It's now time to take the next step," adds Smith.  "Investing into an expanded insulin pump program makes sense for both the health of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and the sustainability of the province's healthcare system."

Event Details:
Location: Admiral Green's Clubhouse, Pippy Park, 460 Allandale Road
Time: Speakers & breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m.
  (media interview availability at 9:30 a.m.)

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:
Sherry Calder
Senior Manager, Regional Communications
Canadian Diabetes Association
Cell: (902) 221-1162

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