by Joe Laposa
In December 2006, the Ontario Assistive Devices Program (ADP) initiated funding of insulin pumps and supplies for children aged 18 years or younger with Type 1 diabetes (a condition in which the body produces no insulin, and hence ingested food cannot be converted into energy).
As of September 2008, Type 1 insulin-dependent diabetics 19 years of age or older are eligible to receive funding for insulin pump therapy. Upon referral by a family physician to a registered ADP diabetes team (such as the one at McMaster University), a patient’s suitability for pump therapy is assessed, eligibility for funding assistance is determined, and help is given in the completion of the ADP funding application form. After discussions with authorized insulin pump companies and deciding on the pump of his/her choice, the patient begins a 3-month trial period with the apparatus. A follow-up session with the ADP diabetes team provides a final evaluation of the patient. If satisfactory, 100% the cost of the pump is paid directly to the vendor. As well, the client receives, four times a year, $600 cheques from ADP to cover pump supplies.
Type 1 diabetes accounts for only 10% of the diabetic population, while Type 2 diabetes is nine times more prevalent. In this condition, the body produces insufficient insulin, or cannot effectively use the insulin that is produced. Only about 30% of the patients with Type 2 diabetes require injection of insulin, and it is not clear at the present whether these patients would benefit from pump therapy. In the next few years an expert panel is expected to complete deliberations concerning the suitability of funding of insulin pumps and supplies for Type 2 diabetics.
For more information, contact the ADP at 1-800-268-6021 or visit their web site.