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Diabetes: UN to tackle "too expensive" insulin prices



  Two WHO directors of the Geneva Convention Copyright
EPA

Image caption

The two-year project was announced in Geneva

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a scheme to reduce the "too expensive" price of insulin.

The UN agency wants other drug companies to produce generic versions of insulin, which they will then test.

Since opening in 1

923, the price of insulin has risen in America from $ 1 (78p) per vial to about $ 300

About 20 million people have type 1 diabetes and need regular insulin injections to to live according to the WHO.

54 million people worldwide with type 2 diabetes use insulin only in severe cases. [19659011] The human price of insulin in America

  • How much does diabetes cost in the UK?
  • The generic version of the drug is chemically similar, but is manufactured by a different pharmaceutical company than those who manufacture the existing drug.

    The process of getting pharmaceutical companies to produce generic versions of an existing drug and then test it for quality and safety is known as a pre-qualification program.

    After the generic version passes the safety tests, it is introduced to the world market at cheaper prices, reducing the price of the drug.

    The WHO has successfully managed such schemes in the past, most notably for HIV medicines in 2001.

    The UN Agency announced a two-year initiative Wednesday at a conference in the Swiss city of Geneva.

    Emer Cook, WHO Director, says: "The simple fact is that the prevalence of diabetes is increasing, the amount of insulin used to treat diabetes is too low, the prices are too high, so we have to do something. "

    How does insulin treat diabetes?

    Diabetes is a disease characterized by high levels of blood glucose (blood sugar).

    Image copyright
    Getty Images

    Caption images

    Three manufacturers control most of the global insulin market

    Insulin is a hormone that is usually produced by the body. It controls blood sugar levels by transferring glucose from the bloodstream and into cells where it is broken down.

    There are two different types of diabetes.

    Type 2 diabetes is most common, in which the body either becomes insulin resistant or does not make enough insulin. This can be caused by an unhealthy diet or lack of physical activity.

    This can be managed through other medications such as metformin, as well as exercise and a healthier diet.

    Type 1 diabetes is different in that it is a chronic condition in which the body produces little or no insulin itself.

    Injections of the produced insulin are needed on a regular basis to help the body regulate blood sugar levels.

    Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause damage to the heart, eyes, and kidneys.

    If left untreated, diabetes can lead to heart attacks, strokes and even death.

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    Media caption "Why apologize? Insulin keeps me alive"

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