Millions of diabetic patients can’t afford insulin – WHO

Millions of diabetic patients can’t afford insulin – WHO

The World Health Organization laments of the number of people suffering from diabetes is surging, even as tens of millions cannot get the insulin they need.

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The UN health agency stressed the need to cut prices and dramatically increase access to the life-saving medicine.

More than 420 million people are currently estimated to be living with diabetes globally, marking nearly a quadrupling in the past four decades.

And that number is expected to surge past half a billion by the end of this decade, WHO said Friday.

But despite an ample supply, high prices make it difficult for many diabetics to access the insulin they need to manage their condition.

“There are significant gaps in access to conditioning globally, particularly in lower-income countries,” Kiu Siang Tay, of WHO’s Access to Medicines and Health Products division, told reporters.

In a fresh report, WHO decried a betrayal of the solidarity showed by the Canadian researchers who discovered insulin 100 years ago.

Frederick Banting and John Macleod sold the patent for insulin, which transformed a diagnosis of diabetes from a swift death sentence to a manageable disease, for just one Canadian dollar, insisting the discovery “belongs to the world”.

“Unfortunately, that gesture of solidarity has been overtaken by a multi-billion-dollar business that has created vast access gaps,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

Oluchi Okwuego/ punch
Millions of diabetic patients can’t afford insulin – WHO

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