FUDiabetes

Constant Glucose Monitor Canada

cgm
dexcom

#1

Fueled by my recent success in saving TONS of money buying insulin in Canada (thanks for all the help from here) I started thinking about buying CGM ‘stuff’ in Canada. My first check was with Familiprix right over the boarder. Heath Canada does not approve of Dexcom so that was out. My son goes to school in Toronto and he is looking for a Pharmacy for me there.

Anyone get CGM supplies in Canada? If so which ones? I am not married to Dexcom, I love the device but I also like to be able to afford my bills, I am open to any suggestions on CGM’s and saving money.


#2

@dughuze, I am puzzled by what they told you. The Dexcom G5 is approved for use in Canada. It actually may be the only CGM approved there?

But I am not sure if it is any cheaper there. I don’t have price info for it, but it appears to me that pumps are more expensive in Canada than in the US—although I could be wrong. It appears to be true for the Omnipod, for instance.


#3

https://www.dexcom.com/en-CA/canada-support-page


#4

Current pricing for a G5 transmitter is $389 cdn and a box of G4/G5 sensors is $340 cdn. At a current 1.31 exchange rate that is $297 US for a transmitter and $260 US for a box of sensors. Dexcom has a sales office in Vancouver and a warehouse in Montreal from where they ship from. They do not sell in pharmacies and are direct ship only. They are not a prescription item in Canada. You also are not required to buy a receiver, that is optional.


#5

Before you purchase a Dexcom or Libre in Canada, verify that it will be compatible with whatever Clarity or other interface you and your endo use in the States. Dexcoms purchased in Canada, for instance, cannot be uploaded to the U.S. Clarity website, but do work with the EU Clarity website. If your endo or someone else wants to look at your results, this could be a frustration.

Note also that CGMs, monitors like the Libre, and BG meters purchased in Canada will be in mmol/L (though I think some or maybe many meters you can switch). That may or may not be a complication for you or your physician.


#6

I pay nearly the same amount for a box of sensors, and I’m only paying 15% coinsurance.

Why is a box of sensors over $1000 here?

I didn’t realize Dexcom was cheaper up that way.


#7

That price does not equate to anything I have ever heard of.

The “Canadian” pricing quoted earlier was quite in line with all the US pricing I am aware of. Plus or minus a bit but certainly ballpark.


#8

Were you told by the pharmacy that the Dexcom isn’t available in Canada? Pharmacies are not knowledgeable about pumps or CGMs in my experience because supplies are generally bought online or directly from the companies. New drugs are not pushed or promoted well in Canada either (I’m guessing because of price and marketing restrictions), most pharmacies still do not carry Tresiba or Fiasp (they have to be ordered, though can be ordered to arrive within a day) and many pharmacists I’ve spoken to know nothing about them.


#9

Pharmacies are on just about every corner in Toronto and insulin is generally the same price everywhere. As another poster said however, they do not carry CGM supplies. Unlike the States, even the Libre is purchased directly online here (but can be ordered by anyone just like any other item online, without any documentation or prescription needed).


#10

Wow, those prices are great. Does Dexcom require a Canadian shipping address? (My son goes to school in Toronto, so that could be done) Not at all worried about the Clarity issue, my A1c’s are always in the mid 5’s and I do not share with my Doc. Do you know if the app on the Android phone is the same in the US as it is in Canada? ie, would I have to download a Canadian version or buy a Canadian receiver?

I really appreciate all the help in affording this expense.


#11

They would probably require a Canadian address since they can’t sell to US patients. Your son could easily order it for you though, again no documentation or prescription needed and they ship it out fast! The Canadian Android app is different than the American app and uses mmol/L. I’m not sure if the American app could connect to a Canadian transmitter, but you could always use xDrip which is better anyway!


#12

Interesting, I guess that will be an experiment that I will have to run. At least, with Xdrip I would not be wasting money by not being able to use it.

I had dropped Xdrip and the Dexcom app for a bit because after a Samsung/Verizon update I could not get either to work. Then, last night, my receiver had a “fatal error” and I tried the app in presto, it worked again.


#13

Yep, and hey, you can always learn to use mmol. There’s nothing better than a number system where it looks like you’re low all the time, no matter how high you are!


#14

Sorry, wasn’t thinking clearly. I pay around that amount for 3 boxes (3 month supply), not 1 box.


#15

Makes sense.

As FYI:
When we order a “90 day” supply, we get an “84 day” supply of Dexcom G4/G5 sensors shipped which is 12 sensors in 3 boxes @ 7 days per sensor. (Four sensors per box.) The sensors last us quite a bit longer than 84 days as we usually run them about 12 days as well as sometimes not running a sensor at all. I don’t like to build up more than a one box Dexcom sensor stash so I do not order every 90 days (or 84 days) but rather wait until we have opened the last box and then place the next order.

Unless it is going to be the first order in the new year and then I place that order when I open the second to last box. If there is going to be a problem, it typically would be with the first order of the year when anything at any point of the process might have changed.


#16

In the interest of accuracy I called Dexcom to get my cost rather than rely on memory. My cost (negotiated with Dexcom by Connecticare, my insurer) is $534 for 2 transmitters and $351 per box of 4 sensors. Question to BrianJ, is the quoted $297 for a single transmitter or a pair? The sensors are still $90 a box less which is worth ordering.

My faulty memory remembered $1000 on the transmitters which was the entire year cost, sorry for the inaccuracy.


#17

The pharmacy said 'they do not have access to Dexcom because Health Canada has not approved it" when the real story seems to be that Dexcom only sells them direct and that is why the pharmacy did not have access.

The pharmacists had never seen a Dexcom system till I showed them mine so not a big seller in the part of Canada that I was in.


#18

They’ve probably never seen a pump either!


#19

That may be true because all insulin and it’s delivery systems are over the counter so that Health Canada can avoid paying for it. Pumps are really expensive compared to a simple pen.


#20

Health Canada doesn’t pay for anything. It is a government department that is involved in regulating the safety of food and drugs (like the FDA), ensuring accessibility of health care, and a bunch of other things, but it is not involved in the purchase, sale, or reimbursement of any drugs or medical devices. (That’s for the provinces to get involved in.)

While Canadians (or others shopping here) technically do not require a prescription to buy insulin, my understanding is that a prescription is necessary if you are going to claim it on your private or public drug benefits plan or as a medical expense for tax purposes. Therefore, most Canadians get a prescription for insulin.