For Immediate Release                                                                                     BC Ministry of Health

Diabetes Awareness Month: diabetes research

VICTORIA – Health Minister Terry Lake has issued the following statement for Diabetes Awareness Month:

“Diabetes affects over 400,000 British Columbians of all ages. Diabetes Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn more about risk factors for this disease and the impact it has on people and their families. There are many supports and resources available to families to help manage and prevent the disease.

“These include extending coverage of insulin pumps to patients 25 and under, new provincial standards for diabetes care in schools and providing an incentive payment for doctors to help them in offering continuous care for their diabetic patients.

“Thanks to B.C.’s PharmaCare program, residents can receive coverage for 14 effective therapies for the treatment and management of diabetes, and the program continues to review other new therapies for possible coverage.

“British Columbia is also a leading centre for world-class health research supported by the #BCTECH Strategy. The province has a high-calibre health research environment, with strong research centres and excellent researchers.

“At BC Children’s Hospital, research by the Canucks for Kids Fund Childhood Diabetes Laboratories aims to improve the lives of children with diabetes by understanding the causes of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and improving treatments.

“Promising research is coming out of The Centre for Drug Research and Development. The centre is working with Zucara Therapeutics to develop a new safe and effective long-term therapeutic to prevent hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, in patients with diabetes. Low blood sugar is a daily risk people with diabetes face and can have serious, long-term complications. Although still in its early stages, this new potential drug therapy would dramatically change how people manage their diabetes, improving their health and quality of life.

“We want to help British Columbians make healthy choices and be proactive in managing their health. Chronic disease is the largest contributor to B.C.’s health-care costs and as more children and adults develop type 2 diabetes, we want to encourage British Columbians to lead healthy lifestyles. Healthy Families BC offers a wide range of resources such as dietitian services, help for those who smoke, and supports for increasing physical activity. Both the
Carrot Rewards app and ParticipACTION’s workplace UPnGO initiative encourage people to get moving and are rewarded with loyalty points.

“As the number of people living with diabetes in urban areas continues to rise, I’m encouraged to see cities like Vancouver stepping up and addressing this issue by joining the Cities Changing Diabetes program and taking action against diabetes.

“We are increasing screening rates significantly, and now about 85% of adults in B.C. over age 45 have been screened for diabetes.

“In addition to the many supports in place, there is exciting diabetes research coming out of B.C. that can improve the health of people of all ages living with diabetes. I encourage all British Columbians to be healthy leaders and take steps to reduce the chance of getting a chronic disease like diabetes.”

Media contact:
Lori Cascaden
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)