India Daily Post: The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a scheme to lower the “overly expensive” price of insulin.
The UN agency wants other drug companies to produce generic versions of insulin, which it will then test.
Since its discovery in 1923, the price of insulin has risen in America from $1 (78p) per vial to about $300 (£233).
About 20 million people have type 1 diabetes and need regular insulin injections to live, according to the WHO.
The 54 million people worldwide with type 2 diabetes only use insulin in severe cases.
The human cost of insulin in America
How much does diabetes cost the UK?
A generic version of a drug is chemically similar, but produced by a different pharmaceutical company than those producing the existing drug.
The process of getting pharmaceutical companies to produce generic versions of an existing drug, and then testing it for quality and safety, is known as a qualification programmed.
Once the generic version passes the safety tests, it is introduced into the global marketplace at a cheaper rate, driving down the price of the drug.
The WHO has successfully run similar schemes in the past, most notably for HIV medication in 2001.
The UN agency announced the two-year initiative on Wednesday, at a conference in the Swiss city of Geneva.
Emer Cooke, a director at the WHO, said: “The simple fact is that the prevalence of diabetes is growing, the amount of insulin available to treat diabetes is too low, the prices are too high, and so we need to do something.”