According to the International Diabetes Federation, there are over 371 million people around the world who suffer from diabetes. And yesterday, 14th November, marked 2013’s World Diabetes Day. The day, aimed at raising awareness and support for those suffering from the infliction, saw events take place across the globe and as well as organisations lighting up national monuments blue in cities the world over.
But is awareness and spending enough? In recent months academics and experts have been coming out and saying that, despite nearly a century of insulin use as a treatment for diabetes, we are stilla long way off the universal accessibility insulin. And it is clear who these experts are blaming, the manufacturers.
90% of the insulin market is dominated by just three companies, Eli Lilly (the first to take insulin to market over 90 years ago), Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi. With health care systems across the globe struggling to afford the rising costs associated with insulin and diabetes care, Mr Beran of the University of Geneva, and Professor John Yudkin place the blame squarely on these three pharma giants, claiming that they have spent too much time and money developing more advanced insulin products that yield little additional benefit over the recombinant insulin approved by the FDA in the early 80s, but increases production costs substantially.
Both academics agree that Lilly, Novo and Sanofi all need to go back to basics and concentrate on lowering production costs and rolling out affordable insulin products across the world.
But in a move that would no doubt surprise Beran and Yudkin, Eli Lilly yesterday announced as part of World diabetes Day, that they would be can no longer afford the escalating price of marginally better insulin products.
But aside from this heated debate, let us see what amazing things people are capable thanks to the successful use of animal or synthetic insulin to treat diabetes: