Improving the health and quality of life for people living with diabetes
TORONTO — The Ontario government is making it more affordable for Ontarians living with type 1 diabetes to monitor their blood glucose levels by providing coverage for real-time continuous glucose monitors, the latest technology in diabetes care, through the province’s Assistive Devices Program.
“This year marks 100 years since insulin was first successfully used to treat diabetes right here in Ontario. This lifesaving drug has helped countless people stay healthy, and today we’re helping even more people living with diabetes,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “By making the latest technology more affordable, our government is ensuring that Ontarians living with type 1 diabetes can conveniently track their glucose levels in real time, allowing them to better manage their diabetes and live healthier lives.”
Starting March 14, 2022, eligible Ontarians with type 1 diabetes can receive Assistive Devices Program funding for a continuous glucose monitor and the related supplies. Eligible individuals include those with type 1 diabetes who are at risk of severe hypoglycemia or who are unable to recognize, or communicate about, symptoms of hypoglycemia.
Traditional blood glucose meters require individuals to take blood samples using frequent finger pricks, which can be inconvenient, time consuming and difficult to use during a severe hypoglycemic event. With a real-time continuous glucose monitor, individuals use a small sensor that automatically tests sugar levels every few minutes throughout the day and night. These monitors do not require a blood sample through finger pricks, making it easier and more convenient for people to monitor their glucose levels and stay healthy. The continuous glucose monitors also include an alarm that will notify the individual, their family members or a caregiver of low glucose levels, allowing them to take immediate action that can help prevent health emergencies.
By funding the latest technology and medication in diabetes care, the government is supporting patient-centred care and improved health outcomes for Ontarians living with diabetes.
- To further support Ontarians living with diabetes, the government is also providing coverage for Baqsimi, a new rescue medicine for insulin-treated diabetics experiencing a severe hypoglycemic event, under the Ontario Drug Benefit program. The new nasal spray can be administered by a caregiver in the event that the person with diabetes is unable to do so themselves.
- January 2022 marked the 100th anniversary of the first successful insulin treatment, which was administered in Toronto. In the century since its breakthrough, insulin has saved and improved the lives of millions of people with diabetes in Canada and worldwide.
- Diabetes is a disease in which the body either cannot produce insulin or properly use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood.
- Nearly 1.5 million Ontarians have diabetes. Most can lead healthy lives by managing their blood glucose levels, including taking insulin if needed.
- Severe hypoglycemia occurs when a person’s blood glucose levels are too low and require the assistance of another person to treat. If left untreated, it can be life-threatening.
- The Assistive Devices Program helps people with long-term physical disabilities pay for customized equipment and specialized supplies. This includes some devices and supplies used by Ontarians with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, such as insulin pumps, blood glucose meters, and needles and syringes for seniors.
- To qualify for an ADP-funded real-time continuous glucose monitor, a patient must first be assessed by the health care team from an ADP-registered Diabetes Education Program. These specialized multi-disciplinary teams provide diabetes education, treatment, and follow-up resources to individuals with diabetes.