QUEEN'S PARK — "November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and on Saturday people around the world marked 100 years since Sir Frederick Banting’s remarkable 25-word idea scribbled at 2 a.m. in his small bedroom above his medical practice on Adelaide Street in London, now the home of Banting House National Historic Site. That idea would lead to one of the greatest triumphs of modern medicine, the discovery of insulin in 1921, saving millions of lives and making Banting the only Canadian and the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
While amazing progress has been made in the century since Banting’s idea, COVID-19 has reinforced how much more we have to do. It has revealed the urgency of addressing poverty, food insecurity and other key health inequities to improve health outcomes. Ontarians most at risk of COVID-19 are often those most at risk of diabetes, those who struggle with poverty, who are racialized or Indigenous, who are food insecure, who live in crowded conditions, who work in low-wage essential jobs. They also face a significant economic burden with high deductibles for the Trillium Drug Program, unable to afford proper foot care, unable to access continuous glucose monitoring systems, unable to pay for essential diabetes supplies, lacking private insurance plans or with limited coverage.
This centenary, what better way to honour Banting’s legacy than by implementing a comprehensive provincial diabetes strategy, one that includes universal pharmacare and provides funding for all necessary supports."