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Lancet. 2000 Mar 11;355(9207):919-21.

Insulin for the world's poorest countries.

Author information

1
Royal Free and University College London School of Medicine, Whittington Hospital, UK. j.yudkin@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

In the industrialised world, type 1 diabetes rarely results in death from ketoacidosis. The same is not true in many countries in the developing world where insulin availability is intermittent, and insulin may not even be included on national formularies of essential drugs. The life expectancy for a newly diagnosed patient with type 1 diabetes in some parts of Africa may be as short as 1 year. The World Bank has identified 40 highly indebted poor countries (HIPCs) whose national debt substantially exceeds any possibility of repayment without heavy impact on health and social programmes. Incidence and prognosis of type 1 diabetes in HIPCs are lower than in most industrialised countries, and 0.48% of the world's current use of insulin is estimated to be sufficient to treat all type 1 diabetic patients in these countries. A proposal is made for the major insulin manufacturers to donate insulin, at an estimated cost of US$3-5 million per year, as part of a distribution and education initiative for type 1 diabetic patients in the HIPCs. No type 1 diabetic patient in the world's poorest countries need then die because they, or their government, cannot afford insulin.

PIP:

In industrialized countries, type 1 diabetes rarely results in death from ketoacidosis. The same is not true in many developing countries where insulin availability is intermittent, and insulin may not even be included on national formularies of essential drugs. The life expectancy for a newly diagnosed patient with type 1 diabetes in some parts of Africa may be as short as 1 year. The World Bank has defined 40 highly indebted poor countries (HIPCs) on the basis that debt repayment greatly exceeds the potential incomes, and as a consequence, programs of social investment suffer. Incidence and prognosis of type 1 diabetes in HIPCs are lower than in most industrialized countries, and 0.48% of the world's current use of insulin is estimated to be sufficient to treat all type 1 diabetic patients in these countries. A proposal is made for the major insulin manufacturers to donate insulin, at an estimated cost of US$3-5 million per year, as part of a distribution and education initiative for type 1 diabetic patients in the HIPCs. No type 1 diabetic patients in the world's poorest countries need to die because they, or their government, cannot afford insulin.

PMID:
10752719
DOI:
10.1016/S0140-6736(99)09225-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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