WHO pilot project to improve access to insulin


I hope they are successful. I am not optimistic, but hopeful. Someone in the distribution chain will figure out if they create shortages they can profit…

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Agreed. I, too, hope they succeed in making insulin more affordable and available. :sunflower:

I just cut this out of the “Lancet” article (it actually seems to have been published in diabetoligia [I have asked the Lancet for clarification]) in the hope that it will help understanding, this is only a part of the issue but it is important to understand what the issue really is:

Our work in Mozambique showed that 10% of the government expenditure on medications was being used on insulin [15, 16]. The most recent RAPIA by the IIF in Kyrgyzstan showed that 57% of national insulin expenditure (and 42% of the total budget for diabetes drugs and supplies) was for the purchase of costly newer analogue insulins [18]: the cost of glargine, for example, was 13 times that of brandname isophane insulin. Data from other resource-poor areas of the world also suggests that expenditure on analogue insulin is financially significant, with the price of these insulins generally exceeding that of human insulin by a factor of three to five. The use of animal insulin, and its availability, is now negligible [19, 20].

I didn’t add any emphasis to that, I kindof assume people on this list can add emphasis as appropriate, but I will quote a part of the following paragraph:

Another factor adding to insulin costs in many countries is the use of insulin pens rather than the traditional (and much cheaper) reusable syringes and needles.

The full article is https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-010-1897-3

This isn’t about our problem, it is about the problem that our shxt causes for everyone else trying to live on this planet.

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Ella Burnham (from the Lancet editorial team) confirmed that the article NPR quoted is not from the Lancet, and pointed out that the Lancet web site can be readily searched (the Lancet is a “delayed open access- journal”).

Indeed, such a search immediately produces results including correspondence relating to US medical prices, such as this letter from members of T1International:


The letter is from October 2019, but the authors seem to be trying to promote a study by T1International from 2018:

I don’t think that was peer reviewed, but it is directly relevant to the topic of the NPR article since it looks at international availability of insulin.

One priceless :wink: table is on page 6 of that PDF. It shows figures from the study for insulin rationing and compares high-income countries with low-and-middle-income countries. As you might expect insulin rationing is far more frequent in low-and-middle-income countries - 92.4% of people from high-income countries stated they never had to ration insulin while only 72.2% of people from low-and-middle-income countries said the same thing. That is, if you exclude the USA from low-income countries; only 70.7% of people in the USA said they never had to ration.