B.C. expands PharmaCare coverage to include life-changing diabetes monitor


British Columbians with diabetes will now be able to claim coverage of a life-changing piece of medical technology through the province’s PharmaCare program.

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced Friday that the program would cover the Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor.

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The tool monitors diabetics’ blood sugar levels in real-time through a sensor attached to the skin, and transmits the information to an app.

It is also capable of sending push notifications if a person’s blood sugar levels rise too high or drop too low, potentially putting them in danger.

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The province estimates access to the devices will help about 20,000 people in each of the first three years.

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Coverage for the devices at list price would have cost B.C. about $100 million, but the province says it negotiated an unspecified discount.

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“People with diabetes who meet the criteria for the device can get coverage if they are enrolled in Fair PharmaCare or who have PharmaCare coverage through C (income assistance), Plan F (children in the At Home program) or Plan W (First Nations health benefits),” the province said.

An estimated 29,000 people are diagnosed with diabetes, a condition that affects one’s ability to regulate their blood sugar levels, every year in British Columbia.

Diabetes remains the sixth leading cause of death in Canada, and complications of the condition can include seizures, organ damage and kidney disease, blindness and non-traumatic amputation.

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