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Insulin pumps can help prevent complications from diabetes, but are too costly for some individuals, says the Diabetes Association. (CBC)

The Canadian Diabetes Association is calling on the P.E.I. government to pay for the cost of insulin pumps and supplies for people living with type 1 diabetes, in order to save on the health budget overall.

According to the association, every province in Canada, with the exception of P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, either has an insulin pump program or has made a commitment to bring one in.

Association regional director Lisa Matte said at a cost of more than $5,000 a year, insulin pumps are difficult for many individuals to afford.

"If they can't afford their diabetes medication or their supplies then often they're not complying with their diabetes management which obviously is going to lead to longer term health complications," said Matte.

It is the provincial health care system that ends up paying the cost associated with those complications, said Matte.

"We're estimating that to actually implement the program would be about $400,000 on Prince Edward Island, but we know that the cost savings as a result of indirect and direct health-care costs is actually going to more than pay for the program," she said.

By 2032 the average savings would be about half a million dollars a year, Matte said.

She said there are 614 people on P.E.I. who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.