40 million diabetes patients will have not have adequate supply of Insulin by 2030, claims study

A new study predicts that the access to insulin needed to meet the growing number of people diagnosed with diabetes will soon fall short


                            40 million diabetes patients will have not have adequate supply of Insulin by 2030, claims study

According to a modeling study published on Wednesday in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, 79 million adults are expected to need insulin to manage their condition by the year 2030, and if the current levels of access remain, only half of them will be able to get an adequate supply. Researchers warn that access to the drug needs to be significantly improved, especially in the African, Asian and Oceania regions, CNN reports.

Dr. Sanjay Basu, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University in the US, who led the research, said: "These estimates suggest that current levels of insulin access are highly inadequate compared to the projected need, particularly in Africa and Asia, and more efforts should be devoted to overcoming this looming health challenge."

Dr. Sanjay Basu (Stanford University)
Dr. Sanjay Basu (Stanford University)

"Despite the UN's commitment to treat non-communicable diseases and ensure universal access to drugs for diabetes, across much of the world insulin is scarce and unnecessarily difficult for patients to access," he added.

In order to predict the amount of insulin that will be needed and determine the access to those who require it, Basu's team set out to explore how rates of diabetes will change over the next 12 years, focusing on how much the numbers will rise. The team modeled the burden of type 2 diabetes from 2018 to 2030 using data from the International Diabetes Federation and 14 studies to get a picture of type 2 diabetes numbers across 221 countries.

According to their findings, the number of adults with type 2 diabetes worldwide will rise from 406 million in 2018 to 511 million in 2030. The United States will have the third highest numbers globally, with 32 million people predicted to be living with the condition in 2030. "The number of adults with type 2 diabetes is expected to rise over the next 12 years due to aging, urbanization and associated changes in diet and physical activity," said Basu.

Insulin is needed to treat all people with type 1 diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes. (Pixabay)
Insulin is needed to treat all people with type 1 diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes. (Pixabay)

Out of the global total of 511 million, 79 million were predicted to be in need of insulin to manage their diabetes and only 38 million are likely to have access to it based on current availability of resources.

According to the study, Insulin treatment is expensive and the market is currently dominated by three manufacturers. 

"Unless governments begin initiatives to make insulin available and affordable, then its use is always going to be far from optimal," said Basu.