The cost of insulin is beyond reach of the common man and low socio-economic countries ill afford the rising cost in Insulin. WorldHealth Organisation (WHO) will soon test and approve generic versions of Insulin.
WHO is hopeful that slashing down insulin costs will happen on advising makers of generic drugs to enter the market and supply generic versions of Insulin. Three Pharma giants have to hold over the Insulin market and they have pushed the prices.
“Four hundred million people are living with diabetes, the quantity of insulin available is low and the prices are high, so we really need to do something,” Emer Cooke, the WHO’s head of regulation of medicines and health technologies, said as she announced the plan.
The approval process, which the WHO calls “prequalification,” will permit United Nations agencies and medical charities like Doctors Without Borders to buy approved generic versions of insulin. The process also will reassure countries without strong regulatory agencies that the approved drugs are safe for their health ministries to purchase.
People with uncontrolled diabetes face premature death, blindness, strokes, kidney failures, heart attacks, foot amputations and other consequences of dangerously high blood sugar levels.
For over 40 years, Insulin is on the WHO’s essential medicines list. Over 80 million people cannot get the insulin, because the Individual with Diabetes or their country’s health systems cannot afford it, opines WHO.
In the United States, the price of an Insulin vial has soared from $35 to $275 from over two decades, diabetics with no health insurance coverage are forced to procure insulin from the black market.
“Novo Nordisk is committed to being part of the solution.” And is willing to produce and supply as per WHO guidelines. Alerted by WHO plans to offer generic Insulin most of the Pharma companies are falling in line and are willing to support the mission of WHO to offer Insulin at affordable prices to the needy population.
Director of the Affordable Insulin Now campaign, Rosemary Enobakhare, appreciated the WHO initiative “a good first step toward affordable insulin for all around the world.”
Cooke said affordable insulins could reach to the needy patients in two years. A meeting will be held with the world’s insulin manufacturers soon. It will take time for each to submit data showing how they make and test their products.
The WHO inspection and approval process currently takes about nine months.
But Cooke said she expected no problems with testing different companies’ versions and certifying them as safe and effective. The WHO has already begun a program looking at monoclonal antibodies used to treat cancer. Confirming that different versions are biologically similar “is more complex than insulin,” she said.
Many poor countries and patients are looking for safe, quality and effective generic insulin at affordable prices.
Compiled by Mr. Pramod N Sulikeri 98443 66188
Source: International New York Times