KANSAS CITY, Mo. "As the number of people living with diabetes continues to increase, the availability of insulin needed to…
KANSAS CITY, Mo. “As the number of people living with diabetes continues to increase, the availability of insulin needed to meet the growing demand will be short, a new study predicts.
In 2030, 79 million adults with type 2 diabetes are expected to need insulin to handle their condition and if current availability levels remain, only half of them will be able to get adequate access, according to a model study published Wednesday in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology .
Access to the drug needs to be significantly improved, scientists warn, especially in the African, Asian and Oceania regions affected most.
“These estimates indicate that current levels of insulin access are very insufficient compared to projected needs, especially in Africa and Asia, and more efforts should be devoted to overcoming this threatening health problem,” said Dr. Sanjay Basu, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University in the US, which led the research.
“Despite the UN’s commitment to treating non-communicable diseases and ensuring universal access to drugs for diabetes, insulin is barely and unnecessarily difficult for patients to access.”
Insulin is required to treat all people with type 1
diabetes and some type 2 diabetes. The latter form of disease is strongly linked to lifestyle factors such as obesity, poor diet and physical inactivity.
Basus team worked out to investigate how diabetes will change over the next 12 years, namely how much will increase, predicting the amount of insulin needed and if anyone who needs it will have access.
Using data from the International Diabetes Association and 14 studies to get a picture of type 2 diabetes number over 221 countries, modeled the burden of type 2 diabetes from 2018 to 2030.
They predicted that the number of adults with Type 2 diabetes will increase from 406 million in 2018 to 511 million in 2030. The United States will have the third highest worldwide, with 32 million people predicting to live with the state of 2030.
“The number of adults with type 2 diabetes is expected to rise for the next 12 years due to aging, urbanization and association with changes in diet and physical activity, “said Basu.
But not all people with diabetes need insulin. Of the global amount of 511 million, 79 million were predicted to need insulin to manage their diabetes – a 20% increase in insulin demand – and only 38 million are likely to access it based on current resources.  Insulin treatment is expensive and the market is currently dominated by three manufacturers, according to the study.
“Unless governments start initiatives to make insulin available and affordable, usage will always be far from optimal” Basu.