Ontario Providing Access to Innovative Technology for Diabetes Care

Published on November 26, 2021

Improving the health and quality of life for people living with diabetes


News Release

TORONTO — The Ontario government is now providing coverage for the FreeStyle Libre 2 system, the latest flash glucose monitoring system to become available, under the province’s publicly-funded drug program. Providing access to this innovative technology for diabetes care will help patients living with diabetes more conveniently and easily monitor their blood glucose levels.

“This year marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin right here in Ontario. As we look towards the future, our government is committed to making life easier and more affordable for individuals living with diabetes,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Providing coverage for the FreeStyle Libre 2 system through the Ontario Drug Benefit program will support individuals living with diabetes to better monitor their day-to-day health and improve their quality of life.”

Starting November 30, 2021, Ontarians eligible for the Ontario Drug Benefit program with a valid prescription can receive FreeStyle Libre 2 as a benefit. The FreeStyle Libre 2 system belongs to a group of glucose monitoring systems called flash glucose monitors and is the second flash glucose monitor to be funded under the Ontario Drug Benefit program for Ontario residents who manage their Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes with insulin.

Traditional blood glucose meters require individuals to take blood samples using frequent finger pricks, which can be inconvenient and time consuming. With a flash glucose monitor such as the FreeStyle Libre 2, individuals with diabetes can quickly review their real-time glucose reading by using a reader or smartphone app to scan a sensor worn on the back of the upper arm. These monitors do not require obtaining a blood sample through finger pricks, making it easier and more convenient for people to monitor their glucose levels and stay healthy. It also enables people to check their blood glucose more often, which can lead to better health outcomes in the long-term and help prevent health emergencies.


Quick Facts

  • Diabetes is a disease in which the body either cannot produce insulin or properly use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood.
  • Nearly 1.5 million Ontarians have diabetes. Most can lead healthy lives by managing their blood glucose levels, including taking insulin if needed.
  • Ontario was one of the first provinces to publicly fund flash glucose monitors and provide broad coverage for people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes compared to other provinces in Canada.
  • Ontario has been providing coverage for the FreeStyle Libre 1 system since September 2019.
  • The Ontario Drug Benefit program provides coverage for over 230 diabetes support products, including insulin products, oral diabetes medications and blood glucose test strips to Ontario Drug Benefit eligible patients.

Quotes

"This is an important step towards improving access to devices that can enhance diabetes management and quality of life. Diabetes management decisions should be based on personal needs and in consultation with a health care team. We look forward to working with the government to continue improving access to supports for people living with diabetes."

- Laura Syron
President and CEO of Diabetes Canada

"Timely and affordable access to advanced glucose monitoring systems is a priority for JDRF as individuals living with type 1 diabetes need to be able to choose the device that suits their specific clinical needs. The addition of the Freestyle Libre 2 to the Ontario Drug Benefit expands those options and will benefit many."

- Dave Prowten
President and CEO of JDRF Canada

"Ontario’s decision to reimburse Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 2 system is another positive step forward for Ontarians who are living with diabetes. FreeStyle Libre 2 is an affordable, accessible solution that helps them better manage their diabetes and improves both individual and health system outcomes."

- Philippe Busque
General Manager of Abbott’s diabetes care business in Canada


Additional Resources