Age restrictions lifted for insulin pump coverage in B.C.

By The Canadian Press
June 12, 2018 - 2:09pm

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VANCOUVER — British Columbia is expanding health-care coverage for people with diabetes by lifting the age restriction on insulin pumps.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the move will allow people living with insulin-dependent diabetes to better manage the chronic disease, while preventing other medical conditions like eye and kidney disease.

Dix, who has Type 1 diabetes, explains that the pumps are computerized devices that continuously provide insulin injections, mimicking how the body turns food into sugar.

The province began paying for insulin pumps for people up to the age of 18 in 2008, then raised the age to 25 in 2014.

Dix says the cost of an insulin pump is between $6,000 and $7,000 and the devices need to be replaced about every five years, so the province expects to spend approximate $15 million on the program over the next three years.

The age restriction will be lifted on July 3 and Dix says about 830 people are expected to use the program in its first year.

The Canadian Press

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