Ontario Pledges $741 Million Against Diabetes, Including Funding Insulin Pumps for Type 1s

The provincial government of Ontario has announced it will spend $741 million over the next four years to combat diabetes, including paying the costs of insulin pumps for adults with type 1 diabetes.

The current number of Ontarians living with diabetes is 900,000 (the provincial population is 12.9 million)—a figure expected to increase to 1.2 million by 2010.

Plans call for the provincial government to purchase 1,300 insulin pumps by September, at a cost of about $7,000 each. The government will also cover the approximate $250-per-month cost of supplies for the pumps, not including insulin.

Officials have not said what criteria the province will use to determine eligibility for the pumps other than status as an adult with type 1. (People with type 1 account for 5 to 10 percent of all diagnosed cases of the disease, which means that Ontario could have up to 90,000 residents—adults and children—with type 1.)

Ontario will also establish an online registry by next spring that will help diabetes patients track and manage their condition. Healthcare providers will be able to access the records.

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