WHO announces pilot for insulin prequalification

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a pilot programme for insulin prequalification to boost access to diabetes treatment. Under the two-year programme, primarily meant for low and middle-income countries, WHO will assess insulin developed by manufacturers for quality, safety, efficacy and affordability. It is in line with the organisation’s measures to address rising diabetes burden. Discovered nearly ten decades ago, insulin is required by patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. However, high prices are known to hinder access to the medication. WHO prequalification is intended to improve the availability of quality products on the international market, offering more options at lower prices. WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Diabetes is on the rise globally, and rising faster in low-income countries. Too many people who need insulin encounter financial hardship in accessing it, or go without it and risk their lives.

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