- Ontario Drug Benefit Program coverage on 49 cent strips starts January 29 -
AJAX, ON, Jan. 30, 2013 /CNW/ - The province of Ontario is following three other provinces in approving health ministry funding for blood glucose test strips manufactured by Medi+Sure® Canada Inc, which may lead to an annual savings of more than $40 million for the Ontario Government, and it's tax payers.
Medi+Sure® strips, introduced last year, carry a retail cost of 49 cents each - one third less than the roughly 73 cents per strip Canadian provincial governments have been paying for test strips produced by large medical products and supplies manufacturers.
"We are delighted to be approved to the ODB and with this latest announcement, we are proud to be able to help provincial healthcare ministries and private insurers reduce healthcare costs, while allowing them to maintain the highest standards of safety and quality," says Mario Cortis, President and CEO of Medi+Sure® Canada. "Not only does it mean that taxpayers' dollars will be used more efficiently, it also means savings can be redirected to other critical areas of our healthcare system."
Blood glucose test strips are the Ontario's public drug program's third largest expense, eating up about $120 million in 2011 and more than 3% of its budget. They also represent one of its fastest growing costs. Test strip usage has increased nearly 250%, to more than 263,000 people in 2008 from 76,000 in 1997.
More than 3 million Canadians have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and almost 1 million of them live in Ontario. The test strips are an essential chronic disease management tool for people with diabetes and are typically used four to eight times daily in conjunction with a blood glucose monitor that is supplied free of charge to users by the glucose strip manufacturers.
Ontario is the fourth province to approve funding in the last six months for the test strips. The others are Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia. Coverage for patients under the Ontario Drug Benefits Program began on January 29 and includes a Medi+Sure® blood glucose monitor at no cost when strips are purchased. The 49-cent strip price will also be extended to private insurers.
Medi+Sure®strips offer a significant cost savings to the Canadian healthcare system, which has historically paid among the world's highest prices for blood glucose test strips. Brands available in Canada have generally cost about 50% more than Medi+Sure® strips. The Medi+Sure® mission is to reduce the cost of blood sugar testing and help all Canadians who are living with diabetes and their payers to get high quality and better value for money.
SOURCE: MediSure Canada Inc
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