Toronto – The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) welcomes the Green Party of Canada’s recent announcement confirming its support for a national pharmacare program.
“The CDA commends the Green Party of Canada for recognizing the needs of Canadians living with diabetes,” says Dr. Jan Hux, the CDA’s chief science officer. “A national pharmacare program would help people with diabetes access the medications, devices and supplies they need to manage their disease. While one in 10 Canadians has difficulty paying for medications even if they have insurance, this rises to one in four for those without coverage. These costs are particularly high for people with diabetes. Many have to choose between paying for medications and other essential daily expenses.”
Rick Blickstead, CDA President and CEO, added: “Diabetes costs everyone in Canada through increased healthcare expenses and lost productivity. A national pharmacare program would help Canadians with diabetes, those with other chronic conditions as well as Canadians as a whole.”
High out-of-pocket costs mean many people with diabetes cannot comply with prescribed therapies, leaving them more vulnerable to serious, potentially life-threatening complications. Diabetes causes 30 per cent of all strokes, 40 per cent of all heart attacks, 50 per cent of kidney failure requiring dialysis, and 70 per cent of all non-traumatic amputations.
Stacey Livitski, who lives with type 1 diabetes, knows all too well the costs and hard choices of diabetes: “Because I have a daughter to look after I am willing to pay the extra financial burden because I want to be around for her. If I don’t pay those out-of-pocket costs I am robbing her of a mother later on.”
Paying for needed medications can be difficult even for those with private insurance. Diabetes advocate Rob Beck is fortunate to have private coverage through his employer. He comments: “Every time I pay the co-pay amount on refills of the prescriptions I need to keep me healthy, I’m reminded of the financial burden this disease would be without my health plan. I’m more fortunate than thousands of Canadians who have to choose daily between feeding their children and buying life-saving medications. No Canadian should ever be in this position.”
Recently, the CDA urged all federal parties to commit to the following priorities during this federal election:
- A tax on sugar-sweetened beverages because of the clear connection between high consumption of these drinks and the development of type 2 diabetes.
- Establishing a national pharmacare program so that people with diabetes can access the medications, devices and supplies they need to manage their disease.
- Expanding the disability tax credit (DTC) to include all people with type 1 diabetes to provide financial relief for burdensome annual expenses.
Listen to Rick Blickstead explain the three election priorities:
Learn more about how to get involved in the election campaign to take action on diabetes by visiting diabetes.ca/votediabetes.
About the CDA
The CDA is the registered national charity that helps the more than 10 million Canadians with diabetes or prediabetes live healthy lives, and educates those at risk. In communities across Canada, the CDA:
- offers a wide array of support services to members of the public;
- offers resources to health-care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
- advocates to governments, schools, workplaces and others on behalf of people with diabetes; and funds research on better treatments and to find a cure.
For more information, visit diabetes.ca or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).