Expert insight

Renewing industry’s commitment to better access to diabetes care on World Diabetes Day

15 November 2022
  • Ann-Lise Mikolajczak Associate Director, Global Health and Access

This World Diabetes Day (WDD), IFPMA and its members are renewing our commitment to take proactive steps to improve access to diabetes care and make progress toward the achievement of SDG target 3.4.

We advocate for the integration of oral anti-diabetic medicines, insulin, glucose monitoring and insulin delivery devices, and consumables within Universal Health Coverage (UHC) schemes, leaving no one behind.

We also support the need for integrating essential support for people living with diabetes – such as education, mental health support, and nutritional information – to become a full part of publicly financed essential benefit packages at a national level. As the focus of this year’s WDD indicates, change starts with improved access to diabetes education and the work we do today impacts how we protect future generations.

Given the disproportionate burden of diabetes in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), measures should be taken to improve access to affordable, high-quality diabetes care packages.

 “No one should have to choose between death and financial hardship. No one should have to choose between buying medicine and buying food.”

-Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General

IFPMA believes that innovative approaches such as digital health tools and the Diabetes CarePak are necessary to address this challenge, especially in low resource settings. IFPMA applauds the first WHO prequalification of human insulins and its aim of facilitating more equitable access to quality human insulin.

Thermostability issues need to be addressed to meet the needs of LMICs with low infrastructure and refrigeration capacities, and some of our member companies have taken significant steps to share data and evidence of insulin thermostability. They have taken measures to update storage conditions, which is helping to facilitate better use of insulin in specific settings, such as in humanitarian situations. Finally, companies are advancing on production and access solutions to make quality insulin affordable and more widely available in LMICs.

These are examples of practical, multi-stakeholder solutions on which IFPMA and its members are already working on, and want to continue partnering to speed up progress on our shared 2030 goals. The presence of our insulin manufacturers at the recently held WHO Private Sector Dialogue on Diabetes reaffirmed how they remain committed to improving access to quality diabetes care.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn on 14 November 2022.