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A Message From Dr. Elliott:
I’m writing to share the momentous news that earlier today BC Pharmacare announced coverage of continuous glucose monitors, otherwise known as CGM. BC will thus join the Yukon territory, Quebec and Saskatchewan. I trust that the other provinces & territories will quickly follow suit so that all Canadians can benefit from this life saving and life altering technology. By my estimation more than 80,000 British Columbians living with diabetes stand to benefit. These include all Type 1s, most Type 2s on both long-acting and short-acting insulin and everybody on an insulin pump.
Kudos to Minister Dix and his team at Pharmacare for making it happen and to all the volunteers who have worked so long and so hard for this big day.
CGM is the biggest advance in diabetes in my 29 years as a diabetes specialist; indeed CGM is responsible for a revolution in diabetes management that will now dramatically improve the quality of care & the quality of life for those 80,000 British Columbians. With CGM they will be almost done with finger pokes, will sleep better at night without fear of a low sugar, will be poised to achieve improved control and better avoid long term complications and will now have access to the Artificial Pancreas. The artificial pancreas provides automated insulin delivery through the combination of a CGM integrated with an insulin pump and fantastic software algorithms. The Artificial Pancreas is a cure for diabetes provided by technology.
The Dexcom G6 is easy to use – its sensor/transmitter can be almost painlessly applied to the skin anywhere, usually the arm or abdomen. Sugar readings are sent automatically every 5 minutes to your smartphone or your smartwatch connected to your smartphone. To get up and running with your Dexcom G6 you will first need either an iPhone, 6S or newer, or an Android phone that is less than 3 years old. You’ll also need your doctor to complete a Special Authority form and write a 12 month prescription for the Dexcom G6 which will be dispensed like a medication at your local pharmacy.
Without Pharmacare coverage the Dexcom G6 costs $10/day: the minimum purchase at your local pharmacy will be for 30 days. The Dexcom G6 will be subject to the Pharmacare deductible. Once you’ve reached your deductible you will pay $3/day on average; for those on government assistance or whose family income is < $30,000 per year CGM will be fully covered.
For more information go to BCDiabetes.ca/handouts & search on CGM. I also recommend searching for two other articles “Living with Type 1 diabetes” & “Living with Type 2 diabetes” which include all the information given to BCDiabetes clients at the time of their first visit.
And if you need more help, perhaps to get a Special Authority or prescription, or learn more about the artificial pancreas, we’d love to have you as a client at BCDiabetes where your care will be fully covered by the BC Medical services plan.
Happy times indeed for 80,000 British Columbians and their loved ones and caregivers including all the staff at BCDiabetes.