Family doctor shortage complicates access to ‘life-changing’ device for B.C. diabetes patient – CBC

Sandra McCulloch’s PharmaCare coverage for continuous glucose monitoring expired after her doctor retired

Nov 28, 2022

The red tape that B.C. physicians say is blocking access to vital diabetes drugs and devices becomes almost impossible to navigate without a family doctor, according to one patient.

Sanda McCulloch says her diabetes became much easier to manage a few years ago, when she started using Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring, which tracks her glucose levels every few minutes.

“It is life-changing,” McCulloch, a 63-year-old semi-retired former journalist in Nanaimo, told CBC.

“It gives you a whole lot of information on how to be generally healthier.”

At first, she had a bit of extra money from an inheritance to cover the $300 monthly subscription fees. Then last year, B.C. announced that Dexcom could be covered under PharmaCare through the special authority system, which allows coverage for some patients when a request is made by their doctor.

McCulloch says she was “thrilled” when her family doctor got her approved for coverage about six months ago.

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