Unfair Pharmacare

April 26, 2012 - The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has accepted a discrimination complaint against the Ministry of Health Services, the ministry responsible for administration of BC's Pharmacare benefit program, finding "that the public interest in accepting this complaint is very strong.  It raises a novel issue, on behalf of a particular and vulnerable group ... and similarly situated diabetic students in B.C. who would benefit from or require insulin pump administration while they are in school in order to maintain their daily health."

Central to the complaint is Pharamacare's requirement, which is unique and discriminatory to children/teens with diabetes, that families waive their rights in order to receive funding for an insulin pump - a medically necessary, life-sustaining therapy: 

12. If the Patient is a younger child, you acknowledge that school and daycare personnel will not operate the pump. You will have a plan for pump operation when the Patient is out of your care and you will be available at all times in case there is a problem.

Not only does Pharmacare attempt to subvert the rights of parents to receive appropriate educational supports at school, already a shared responsibility of Teachers and Education Assistants, Pharmacare also attempts to subvert the rights of children old enough and competent enough to direct their medical care, a right outlined in BC's Infants Act:

11. If the Patient is a teenager, s/he acknowledges all of the above, and agrees, by signing below, that s/he will allow you to be involved and participate in diabetes care.

Pharmacare has confirmed that the Patient/Family Agreement for an insulin pump is a requirement for coverage of this device and related supplies.