Expert insight

Launch of the Global Diabetes Compact

14 April 2021
  • Thomas Cueni Director General

I am honored to have been invited to speak on behalf of the innovative pharmaceutical industry at the launch of the new Global Diabetes Compact on 14 April 2021.

The Global Diabetes Compact is being launched at an important time in history of diabetes. 100 years ago, the discovery of insulin in 1921 kicked off a century of medical progress that has fundamentally improved the lives of people living with (or at high risk of developing) diabetes. I am proud of our industry’s innovations that include the introduction of human insulin in the 1980s, first-generation analogue insulins in the late 1990s, new generation insulins in the 2010s that bring improved convenience while countering some short-term complications, and new classes of therapeutics that improve glucose control and have other beneficial effects. Leading innovative biopharmaceutical companies have collaborated with partners around the world over many decades to improve diagnosis and insulin delivery, strengthen supply chains, support healthcare professional training and patient empowerment, improve treatment adherence and introduce digital tools to improve diabetes control. (Check out Global Health Progress collaborations here).

But as the worldwide prevalence of diabetes continues to grow, we know there is much more to be done to ensure access to quality diabetes care for all who need it. People living with diabetes, or those at risk of developing diabetes need to be able to get help, in the shape of a package of products, services and support. They need to be able to access affordable, quality diabetes prevention, diagnosis treatment and control. That is why our partnerships in supporting health systems are important in reaching more people living with diabetes. Our industry is committed to scaling up existing initiatives and exploring new collaborative models, in partnership with WHO, governments, civil society, health system stakeholders and other industrial sectors. I am optimistic that the the Global Diabetes Compact will prove to be an important first step towards transforming the lives of people living with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes. The innovative biopharmaceutical industry is looking forward to supporting the Compact in this endeavour.