Anyone meeting coverage criteria regardless of their age will have access under Pharmacare for insulin pump coverage effective July 3, 2018.

Health Minister Adrian Dix called today’s announcement an overdue step in the right direction.

“Up to now, many people over 25 years old, who rely on an insulin pump to manage their chronic disease, have been forced to make the difficult choice between purchasing this device for their health, or foregoing it due to cost,” said Dix in a news release.

“Going forward, they won’t be put in this position. Following through on a pledge made by Premier John Horgan, the provincial government is removing the age restriction for insulin pump coverage.”

Insulin pumps provide many people with diabetes a reliable and stable way of monitoring and scheduling doses.

They cost up to $7,000 and require replacing roughly every five years.

“Insulin pumps can also help prevent eye disease, kidney disease, amputations and a number of other complications related to diabetes,”said Ramya Hosak, executive director and co-founder of Young and T1, a B.C.-based and volunteer-run organization for young adults living with Type 1 diabetes.

“I am thrilled that this investment will make sure that everyone has equal access to the best standard of care.”

Approximately 485,000 British Columbians live with diabetes and it is expected that roughly 830 adults over 25 years of age will benefit from the expansion in the first year.

The anticipated cost of expanding insulin pump coverage to all eligible British Columbians will be approximately $15 million over three years.