A new study on insulin access for people living with diabetes predicts that 40 million people with this disease will remain without essential medication until 2030, especially in areas of Africa, Asia and Oceania.
As the number of people living with diabetes continues to rise, an insulin approach needed to meet increasing demand will be reduced, anticipates a study published in the Lancet Journal of Diabetes Endocrinology.
Diabetes, which can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart problems, neuropathic pain and amputations, now affects nine percent of adults worldwide, up 5 percent from 1980 levels.
"The demand for insulin needed for effective treatment of type 2 diabetes will increase by more than 20 percent in the next 12 years, but insulin will be out of reach for half of those with type 2 diabetes," he said.
By 2030, it is expected that 79 million adults with type 2 diabetes need insulin to control their condition, and if current levels of access are maintained, only half of them will be able to receive adequate supplies, the study found funded by Helmsley Charity Trust.
Access to the drug must be significantly improved, warn researchers, especially in areas of Africa, Asia and Oceania, which will be most affected.
"These estimates show that current levels of insulin access are not sufficient compared to expected needs, particularly in Africa and Asia, and more efforts should be made to overcome the growing health challenge," said Sanjay Bassu. A professor of medicine at Stanford University who led the study.
"Despite the UN's commitment to treat irregular diseases and ensure universal access to diabetes drugs, most insulin in the world is rare and difficult to reach," he recalled.