WHO Initiative To Boost Insulin Access

The World Health Organization said it had begun an initiative that would cut prices and dramatically increase insulin access for diabetics. The UN health agency voiced alarm ahead of World Diabetes Day on Thursday at the soaring prevalence of diabetes in the world, with nearly three times more diabetics today than 35 years ago. There are currently more than 420 million diabetic adults in the world, up from 180 million in 1980, WHO statistics show. And according to the International Diabetes Federation, the number could swell to 629 million by 2045. “Diabetes is on the rise globally, and rising faster in low-income countries,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement. “Too many people who need insulin encounter financial hardship in accessing it, or go without it and risk their lives,” he warned, adding that “WHO’s prequalification initiative for insulin is a vital step towards ensuring everyone who needs this life-saving product can access it”. The initiative involves the evaluation of insulin developed by manufacturers to ensure their quality, safety, efficacy and affordability.

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