N.B. expands insulin pump program, diabetes health coverage

Life for New Brunswickers living with Type 1 diabetes is about to get much easier as the province expands its insulin pump program.

Health officials were in Moncton on Monday to announce the province would make insulin pumps devices and related supplies more available and affordable.

The province also plans to offer health coverage for continuous glucose monitoring, which is expected to benefit more than 5,000 people.

“We are pleased to take these steps to expand access to the insulin pump program, as we recognize the financial hardships families affected by diabetes can face with regards to treatment,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch.

With the announcement, Fitch said the province expects the number of diabetes patients currently accessing pumps and supplies to nearly double.

“This is the first step in an additional $2.1 million investment towards better diabetes management, which will lead to fewer complications, reduce hospitalizations, and lead to all-around better health,” he said.

The program previously provided coverage, based on income, for insulin pumps and supplies for medically eligible people with Type 1 diabetes who were 25 or younger.

Starting on Aug. 15, the age cap will be removed, allowing people older than 25 to apply.

Glenn Thibeault, executive director of government affairs, advocacy and policy for Diabetes Canada, said the expansion will have a major impact.

“Managing your diabetes is a 24/7 job, with no breaks or vacations,” he said.

“These devices are life-changing for those who need them to manage their chronic condition and help prevent unnecessary complications and trips to the emergency room.”

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