Good news for patients with diabetes
Ontarians taking Lantus insulin to better manage their diabetes now benefit from improved coverage under the Ontario provincial drug plan. On Dec. 3, 2008, the Ontario government announced that its Public Drug Program would provide coverage for Ontarians aged 65 and over, residents of long-term care homes and homes for special care, and those who receive professional home-care services and social assistance. For these patients, it will mean easier access to the only true once-a-day long-acting insulin on the Canadian market, and the option to go on Lantus sooner if it is deemed appropriate for their condition. This latest development follows on the heels of other listings in Manitoba, British Columbia and Quebec. As of Jan. 1, 2009, Lantus is also covered in the province of Saskatchewan.
Many patients taking Lantus have reported that their quality of life has improved tremendously since starting on this insulin. With Lantus (insulin glargine), there is no pronounced peak of activity over a 24-hour period which means that blood glucose levels remain steady. This fact eliminates an important barrier to insulin treatment, given that many patients with diabetes are afraid of having episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose), a potentially dangerous condition marked by trembling, dizziness, anxiety and even heart palpitations.
Until now, the only way for patients in Ontario to have access to Lantus was to pay out of pocket if they did not meet stringent criteria or if they did not have a private drug insurance plan.