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UN leads bid for cheaper insulin, expanding access for diabetics worldwide

14.11.2019 23:19 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Overly expensive insulin could be a thing of the past — and life-changing news — for millions of diabetics worldwide under a plan launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday (just ahead of World Diabetes Day, marked Nov 15 annually) to diversify the insulin output globally, UN Radio says referring to the the WHO report. As to the report, the project is a two-year pilot programme aimed to boost access to quality-assured insulin products for the growing number of people living with the illness, which has nearly doubled worldwide since 1980. It is to be admitted, as of now, three producers control most of the global insulin market. They set exorbitant prices for many. So, within the city of Accra (Ghana), the cost of a monthly supply of insulin is equivalent to the employees salary for five and a half days, what makes 22% of his income. Even within rich countries, diabetics are often forced to intentionally limit their intake of insulin, although reducing the required dose can be deadly. As of yesterday, while presenting the new project within Geneva, WHO officials said that several other pharmaceutical companies were ready to start insulin production, and some of them had already sent samples to WHO for prequalification. While commenting on the new project, WHO Director-General Tedros Gbreyeresus admitted that now the incidence of diabetes is growing worldwide, especially within low-income countries. Too often, people who need insulin experience financial difficulties in acquiring it, or do without insulin at all, putting their lives at risk. So, the new project is a critical step towards making this essential drug available to all who need it. Besides, WHO expressed the hope that the prequalification of products of other companies «will create equal playing conditions for everyone and stabilize the supply of insulin within all countries».

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