Diabetes Canada works to enhance access to diabetes medications, medical supplies and medical devices on behalf of the diabetes community in British Columbia.
Together with patient advocates, Diabetes Canada lobbyists meet with elected officials in individual meetings, caucus meetings and in all party receptions to recommend better access to diabetes medications as recommended in Diabetes Canada's Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs). Diabetes Canada also sends emails to elected officials and connects via social media platforms. We advocate for insulins and newer oral medications to treat patients with type 2 diabetes to be listed on the provincial drug formulary and therefore be available through BC PharmaCare programs. We also lobby that the cost of these medications not be a barrier or a burden to their access.
Diabetes Canada does not lobby for access to a particular drug, but sometimes for a class of drugs, but most specifically we lobby for access to the medications recommended in our Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) that patients require to best manage their diabetes. Many of the newer diabetes drugs with proven efficacy to improve health outcomes (i.e. better managed blood sugar levels to reduce the risk of long-term complications) are not available to British Columbians unless they can afford to pay out-of-pocket for them or have private employer insurance. We lobby for public access to these important medications so that all British Columbians have the opportunity to treat their diabetes and reduce the risk of complications.
Diabetes Canada also lobbies for patient choice related to the BC Biosimilar Initiative, rather than the current forced switch from an originator biologic drug to its less costly biosimilar. We believe that patients, along with their healthcare team, should be agreeable to changes in their diabetes therapy.
Diabetes Canada also lobbies for improved access to medical devices that are proven to provide benefit to people with diabetes. Although British Columbia has an insulin pump program, it limits the choice of British Columbians with type 1 diabetes. We lobby for enhanced choice to devices in this program. We also lobby for public coverage of advanced glucose monitoring devices, including continuous glucose monitors and flash glucose monitors, that are currently covered by many private and employer health plans. The government of BC does not provide public coverage for these devices which places many British Columbians in the position of paying out-of-pocket for going without. Diabetes Canada has a tentative plan to launch an educational and advocacy campaign in fall 2020 related to the proven benefit of these devices for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
We also advocate for public coverage of off-loading (specialized devices that off-load a wound so it can heal) devices for British Columbians with diabetes and a diabetic foot ulcer, a complication of diabetes. Access to these devices can reduce the number of lower-limb amputations conducted in British Columbia and significantly reduce the tremendous personal and economic burden that an amputation causes.
- Development of any legislative proposal by the government of British Columbia, a Provincial entity or a member of the Legislative Assembly
- Introduction, amendment, passage or defeat of any Bill or resolution in or before the Legislative Assembly
- Development or enactment of any regulation, including the enactment of a regulation for the purposes of amending or repealing a regulation
- Development, establishment, amendment or termination of any program, policy, directive or guideline of the government of British Columbia or a Provincial entity