The government will work with representatives from across Alberta to shape a go-forward care plan to meet the needs of a growing population of Albertans living with this chronic disease.

Any decision on treatments for diabetes will be informed by the working group. No changes will be made to the Insulin Pump Therapy Program. The program will continue as it was designed and will add access to the next generation of insulin pumps starting as soon as possible this year.

“Meaningful change begins with meaningful conversations. This is why we are committed to consulting with Albertans living with diabetes to better understand their needs and challenges. The working group will help identify what is needed now and what actions will be needed in the future. I look forward to seeing their recommendations for developing a better and more sustainable system of care for the future.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Health

Given the growing population of Albertans being diagnosed with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, a long-term care pathway needs to be determined so Albertans can manage their diabetes and lower the risk of adverse outcomes that increase cost and strain to the health-care system.

Government costs on diabetes medications, supplies and insulin pumps have increased by about 15 per cent annually and have nearly doubled over the last five years to $200 million. Costs are expected to double again in the next five years to $381 million if Alberta’s current system of care is not addressed.

The goal is to identify the gaps in care and provide better overall care for Albertans while developing a sustainable care pathway for the future.

The working group will review the province’s entire diabetes care pathway, including the scope of practice of primary care physicians and the diagnosis and treatment of patients living with diabetes.

The Diabetes Working Group will include patients, diabetes organizations, health professionals, researchers and health insurers. Recommendations will be shared with the Minister of Health before fall of 2023.

“Diabetes Canada supports the Government of Alberta’s decision to maintain the existing Insulin Pump Therapy Program with no costs borne by the patient, as well as welcomes news of a comprehensive diabetes strategy that will be informed by a working group comprised of representation from the broader community. Diabetes is not slowing down and a strategy that is patient-centred, with policies geared towards better self-management, will help address the impact of diabetes and improve health outcomes in the province. We look forward to immediate next steps and working with government, advocates and partners to develop a diabetes framework for Alberta.”

Russell Williams, senior vice-president, Mission, Diabetes Canada

“This announcement is welcome news for the 40,000 Albertans living with Type 1 diabetes. We are grateful that the government has listened and responded to the concerns of this community by continuing the Insulin Pump Therapy Program. Continuation of this vital program will help alleviate the financial burden associated with managing this relentless disease and make the lives of those living with it safer and healthier. As an organization advocating on behalf of the Type 1 diabetes community, we look forward to continuing to bring their voice to the table as part of the diabetes working group.”

Dave Prowten, president & CEO, JDRF Canada

Quick facts

  • Albertans who use insulin pumps currently have access to:
    • the Omnipod Insulin Management System manufactured by Insulet Canada
    • the MiniMed 630G Insulin Pump System manufactured by Medtronic Canada
  • Albertans living with diabetes will also have access to the following insulin pumps, starting as early as possible in 2022:
    • the Minimed 670G Insulin Pump System and Minimed 770G Insulin Pump System manufactured by Medtronic Canada
    • the YpsoPump insulin pump manufactured by Ypsomed Canada Inc.
    • the t:slim X2 Insulin Pump with Basal IQ technology and the t:slim X2 Insulin Pump with Control IQ technology manufactured by Tandem Diabetes Care Canada, Inc.
  • Insulet Canada is negotiating with the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance.