Tackling diabetes in Ontario - Access and affordability keys to diabetes crisis in Ontario: Report

    TORONTO, Sept. 6 /CNW/ - 85 per cent of Ontarians agree that the
government should invest in programs and services to support Ontarians living
with diabetes, a new report from the Canadian Diabetes Association released
today states. The report titled Tackling Diabetes in Ontario outlines the
Canadian Diabetes Association's recommendations for improving the management,
care, and prevention of diabetes in Ontario and is a call to action for the
provincial political parties as they prepare for the October 10 election.
    The report recommends the immediate establishment of a renewed Ontario
Diabetes Strategy that reviews existing provincial diabetes policies, programs
and strategies to make tackling diabetes a priority in Ontario.
    "Diabetes that is out of control affects all of us," said Karen Philp,
Vice President, Public Policy and Government Relations, Canadian Diabetes
Association. "The rapid, uncontrolled escalation of the numbers of Ontarians
being diagnosed with diabetes puts serious pressure on our publicly funded
healthcare system increasing wait times and emergency room overcrowding."
    "Every 8 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes in Ontario," said
Gary O'Connor, Executive Director, Ontario, Canadian Diabetes Association.
"It's then that they discover the personal cost of managing their diabetes
impacts not only themselves, but their whole family, every day for the rest of
their lives."
    The report calls for the provision of fair and equitable access to
diabetes medications, devices and supplies for all Ontarians living with
    If reliant on the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan, Ontarians can only access 6
of 16 safe, effective diabetes medications. Canadians with diabetes have more
medications available to them in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec,
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest
Territories, and Nunavut.
    "Access and affordability remain the primary challenges for Ontarians to
manage their diabetes," said O'Connor. "Ontarians reliant on ODB have less
choice in their prescription medications, and for others, when it costs over
$2,000 each year out of pocket to buy their prescribed medications and
supplies, it is difficult to save for their children's education or
    Ontarians with type 1 diabetes pay on average $932.58 a year for their
medications, devices and supplies. They would pay less if they lived in
Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British
Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Ontarians with type 2
diabetes pay an annual $2,104.89 out of pocket for their prescription diabetes
medications and supplies. Canadians living in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Quebec,
Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut pay less each year than Ontarians
with type 2.
    In addition, the report states that the majority of Ontarians recognize
the importance of preventing type 2 diabetes in the first place, and
65 per cent support more government effort to help prevent type 2 diabetes and
to prevent the complications arising from diabetes.
    "Government needs to invest in programs and services to prevent type 2
diabetes, but also to help Ontarians manage their diabetes effectively at
home," said Philp. "The research clearly shows that $1 invested in helping
Ontarians with diabetes and their doctors manage this disease according to
evidence based clinical recommendations, government could save up to $4 across
the healthcare system that can be reallocated in the public healthcare system.
This is a significant saving for all Ontarians."
    Diabetes represents about 10 per cent of the annual direct costs of
healthcare in Ontario - more than $2 billion annually. Additionally, more than
99,900 hospital admissions in 2005 were to treat Ontarians with diabetes for
serious complications.
    Tackling Diabetes in Ontario is available in pdf format at

    The Canadian Diabetes Association works to prevent diabetes and improve
the quality of life for those affected, through research, education, service
and advocacy. With a presence in more than 150 communities, the Canadian
Diabetes Association's strong network of assistance includes volunteers,
employees, healthcare professionals and partners.

For further information:

For further information: Jeremy Brace, Marketing and Communications
Associate, Canadian Diabetes Association, Tel: (416) 988-8327, Email:

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