Updated for clarification on Aug. 2, Aug. 3, 2023
People living with diabetes will benefit from BC PharmaCare’s coverage of FreeStyle Libre 2, a flash glucose monitor (FGM) that allows users to read their blood-sugar levels by swiping a hand-held device or smartphone over the sensor.
The FreeStyle Libre 2 will be covered by BC PharmaCare as a limited-coverage benefit beginning Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023.
Glucose monitors enable patients or their caregivers to take action sooner, and help protect people by empowering patients, caregivers and clinicians to identify glucose trends and adjust medications, activity and food intake.
An FGM system uses an externally worn glucose sensor that is inserted under the skin of a person’s upper arm. When the sensor is “flashed” or scanned with a reader device or smartphone, it transmits the real-time glucose reading and information to the user. A sensor can be worn continuously for as many as 14 days.
Similar to the Dexcom G6, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) covered by PharmaCare since June 2021, the FreeStyle Libre 2 helps people living with diabetes better manage their blood-sugar levels without having to prick their finger multiple times a day to test manually.
PharmaCare currently covers approximately 13,000 patients for the Dexcom G6. New patients may use a FreeStyle Libre 2 once it becomes a PharmaCare benefit.
Diabetes affects the body’s ability to regulate blood-glucose levels. The complications of poorly controlled diabetes range from acute (e.g., fatigue, ketoacidosis, seizures) to chronic (e.g., nerve and organ damage). In Canada, diabetes is the sixth-leading cause of death and the leading cause of blindness, end-stage kidney disease and non-traumatic amputation.
PharmaCare continues to improve access to the medical devices and prescription drugs that people in B.C. need. In January 2019, B.C. made a $105-million investment over three years to reduce and/or eliminate Fair PharmaCare deductibles and co-payments for British Columbians with lower incomes.
Learn More: For more information about diabetes, visit:
To learn more about the Dexcom 6 CGM, visit:
About PharmaCare coverage of diabetes supplies:
“Prosthetic and orthotic devices help improve people’s health and quality of life,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
Increasing government’s share of the reimbursement cost – in some cases, even doubling it – will mean it will be more affordable for British Columbians to get these devices and enjoy their many health benefits.”
As of Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, BC PharmaCare is increasing the reimbursement amount for:
The increased reimbursement amount will close the gap between BC PharmaCare’s maximum reimbursement amounts and a provider’s fees, making the devices more affordable. It will also benefit providers who may otherwise incur losses when patients are unable to afford the cost.
BC PharmaCare covers labour and material costs for manufacturing and dispensing custom prosthetics and orthotics, based on the recipient’s PharmaCare plan. Prosthetists and orthotists must be enrolled in PharmaCare as device providers to submit claims on behalf of their patients.
The new schedule, which is based on the Prosthetic and Orthotic Association of British Columbia’s fee guidelines, is expected to benefit more than 2,500 people in B.C. each year and cost BC PharmaCare $5 million over two years. This is the first change to the schedule since 2010.
This reimbursement increase is one more way BC PharmaCare helps people in B.C. access the medical devices and prescription drugs they need. In January 2019, B.C. made a $105-million investment over three years to reduce or eliminate Fair PharmaCare deductibles and co-payments for lower-income British Columbians. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, government eliminated Medical Services Plan premiums, giving more money back to British Columbians.
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