02/27/2014 07:48 EST | Updated 04/29/2014 05:59 EDT

B.C. covers cost of insulin pumps for Type 1 diabetics up to age 25

VICTORIA - Young British Columbians who monitor their Type 1 diabetes with an insulin pump will now get PharmaCare coverage for the equipment until they're 25 — up from the current age of 18.

Health Minister Terry Lake says the province will cover up to $6,600 of the cost and that the average price of an insulin pump is about $6,500.

Since 2008, PharmaCare has provided coverage of insulin pumps for patients up to age 18 after they've been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes or other forms of the disease requiring insulin.

A release from the Health Ministry says that since then, almost 1,300 children have received the pumps, at a cost of $6.4 million.

Canadian Diabetes Association regional director Sue Taylor applauds the move, saying it's a great step in ensuring diabetics have the tools they need to better manage their disease.

NDP Leader Adrian Dix, who is diabetic, also welcomes the initiative, saying he proposed the plan three years ago and that it was part of the New Democrats' last election platform.