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Insulin access still “severely limited” in low income countries, report finds

BMJ 2022; 379 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o2453 (Published 11 October 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:o2453
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Efforts by pharmaceutical companies to tackle global insulin inequity are “fragmented” and “falling short,” with many people with diabetes around the world still not having access to the drug.1

A report by the Access to Medicine Foundation examined access schemes run by the three main insulin manufacturers—Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi. It found that despite the programmes they run, access to the treatment is still severely limited or lacking in many low and middle income countries (LMICs).

By 2030, the number of people with diabetes worldwide is expected to reach 643 million, with the numbers rising most rapidly in LMICs.

The analysis reported that over the past decade pharmaceutical companies have carried out a “patchwork of approaches” that were often focused on a small number of countries or based around particular types of products or specific patient populations.

It noted that most of the strategies had not guaranteed “sustained access for insulin dependent patients requiring ongoing, lifelong treatment” and most of the affordability schemes have been primarily focused on human insulins, with only a few for analogue products.

Claudia Martínez, research programme manager at the Access to Medicine …

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