The resolution of the 74th World Health Assembly (WHA) addresses concerns about the exclusion of texts on the transparency of diabetes medicines – including insulin – and the development of goals for the prevention and treatment of diabetes
Tonje Borch, Senior Advisor to the Norwegian Minister of Health, strongly supported the resolution at the WHA summit, adding that Norway is ready to go further.
“We strongly support a global pricing mechanism for insulin as clearly more transparency and lower prices are needed to save lives.
” Securing WHA approval for a strong solution to diabetes has been a focus of activity for many civil society groups, low and middle income countries, and some high and middle income countries. Income countries like Norway.
“The prices for many new drugs are high and secret. A lack of transparency undermines this Public trust in our health systems. With Covid-19 vaccines we have seen that increased transparency is possible and positive. The pandemic encourages us to reflect on the business models and collaborations that have emerged during the pandemic To achieve transparency, we have to work with national health authorities as well as international organizations and the industry. We have a dynamic. Now is the time, “Borch told the assembly.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death worldwide, with diabetes mellitus listed as the fourth leading culprit and a vial with human insulin, which costs up to Sh 2,693 and Sh 10,770 for analogs.
An estimated nine million people with type 1 diabetes need insulin to survive, and around 60 Millions of people with type 2 diabetes need insulin to manage their condition.
Worldwide has about half of those who need insulin have irregular or no access to it.
Developed and developing countries differ greatly in the diabetes resources available to their populations.
Given that four in five adults with diabetes live in low- and middle-class income countries, these inequalities have a huge public health impact.
WHA has included an operational paragraph calling on the WHO Director General to develop recommendations for strengthening and monitoring diabetes responses within national non-governmental organizations -communicable disease programs and recommendations for the prevention and management of obesity throughout life .
This comes after a pushback to a diabetes-specific solution that would allow WHO to set targets for the detection and treatment of the disease, as well as price transparency for insulin.
The opposition had emerged from both the member states of the European Union (EU) and the USA, but after intensive discussions between the WHO and the opposing members a consensus was reached.
An excerpt from the draft calls for the general director de r WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to analyze the availability of data on inputs throughout the value chain, including clinical trial data and pricing information, with a view to assessing the feasibility and potential value of setting up a web-based tool to share information relevant to the Transparency of the markets for diabetes drugs are relevant, including insulin, oral hypoglycemics and related health products, including information on investments, incentives and subsidies.
Dr. Tedros will submit these recommendations to the 75th WHA summit in 2022.
Dr. Helen Bygrave, the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Access Campaign’s chronic disease advisor, said she was delighted to see countries like Canada, Brazil and Chile along with 19 others support the resolution, which is being led by the Russian Federation.
“It is important that the resolution calls for the creation of a database to improve transparency on the price of diabetes medicines, including insulin.
“Insulin is one of the most expensive products in diabetes care and there is an urgent need to expand access to affordable insulin through price transparency and to help harmonize regulatory requirements for quality insulins, including Biosimilars, “she said.
In 2013, the WHO estimated the prevalence of diabetes in Kenyaat 3.3 percent and predicts an increase to 4.5 percent by 2025.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, an umbrella organization of more than 170 countries, including Kenya, 463 million people have diabetes in the world and more than 19 million people in de r African region. The number is expected to rise to 47 million by 2045.
The prevalence of diabetes among adults in the country was 2.2 percent by 2020, while the total number of Cases of diabetes among adults were 552,400, out of a total adult population of 25,587,600.
Newton Ngugi from the The Alliance of Non-Communicable Diseases Kenya Living With the Disease believes that access to medicines, services and tests, limited resources for procurement, and lack of education about type 1 diabetes management and inadequate health workers are challenges that particularly affect young people from low population groups with socio-economic backgrounds.
“Appropriate training in type 1 diabetes management, development of an ers Affordable diabetes package that includes drugs, results and tests all in one package for yourself – Managing and creating a database in each country for monitoring and appropriate needs assessment is the way to transform the current diabetes landscape “, he says.