Minister’s statement on World Diabetes Day

November 14, 2021 at 7:53 am  BC, News, Politics

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, has issued the following statement in recognition of National Diabetes Month in November, as well as World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14, 2021:

“I’d like to observe Diabetes Awareness Month and recognize World Diabetes Day in the hope of raising public awareness of diabetes and its related complications.

“This year, the world also commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Canadian discovery of insulin, and acknowledges the impact of diabetes on individuals, families, our health-care system and the economy.

“Diabetes is a serious condition affecting 558,000 people in B.C., who are currently diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. On average, over 29,000 people are diagnosed with diabetes each year. Diabetes affects the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels.

“The direct cost of diabetes in British Columbia is $546 million and is expected to rise to $717 million by 2031. Approximately 80% of the direct cost of diabetes is attributed to treating the serious complications of diabetes, including heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation. Spreading diabetes awareness today and throughout the month is one vital step people can take to mitigate this issue.

“We urge people in B.C. to make healthy lifestyle choices, familiarize themselves with the diabetes warning signs, such as extreme thirst, fatigue, hunger and unexplained weight loss, and continue the conversation of diabetes awareness.

“Along with spreading awareness, B.C.offers a number of diabetes supplies through Pharmacare, including insulin pumps and supplies, blood glucose test strips, continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and needles and syringes.

“As well, this year, government covered the Dexcom G6, a CGM that provides regular updates on blood glucose levels throughout the day. Thousands of British Columbians will benefit from coverage of CGMs, which allow patients to stay on top of their glucose levels with an easy, convenient system and will help patients and their health-care providers make better treatment decisions.

“Through PharmaCare, we continue to improve access to the medical devices and prescription drugs that British Columbians need. In 2019, B.C. made a $105-million investment over three years to reduce and/or eliminate Fair PharmaCare deductibles and co-payments for lower-income British Columbians.

“Special authority grants coverage to a drug, medical supply or device that otherwise would not be eligible for full coverage. British Columbians are encouraged to register for the income-based Fair PharmaCare drug coverage plan.

“These are measures we are taking and will continue to take to make life easier for people living with diabetes.”

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