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Diabet Med. 2016 Jun;33(6):820-6. doi: 10.1111/dme.12997. Epub 2015 Nov 14.

Financial costs for families of children with Type 1 diabetes in lower-income countries.

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International Diabetes Federation Life for a Child Program, Glebe, Sydney, Australia.
Diabetes NSW, Glebe, Sydney, Australia.
NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, Australia.
Insulin for Life Australia and Global, Caulfield, Melbourne, Australia.



To assess the direct costs of necessary consumables for minimal care of a child with Type 1 diabetes in countries where the public health system does not regularly provide such care.


Supply costs were collected between January 2013 and February 2015 from questionnaires submitted by centres requesting International Diabetes Federation Life for a Child Program support. All 20 centres in 15 countries agreed to the use of their responses. Annual costs for minimal care were estimated for: 18 × 10 ml 100 IU/ml insulin, 1/3 cost of a blood glucose meter, two blood glucose test strips/day, two syringes/week, and four HbA1c tests/year. Costs were expressed in US dollars, and as % of gross national income (purchasing power parity) per capita.


The ranges (median) for the minimum supply costs through the private system were: insulin 10 ml 100 IU/ml equivalent vial: $5.10-$25 ($8.00); blood glucose meter: $15-$121 ($33.33); test strip: $0.15-$1.20 ($0.50); syringe: $0.10-$0.56 ($0.20); and HbA1c : $4.90-$20 ($9.75). Annual costs ranged from $255 (Pakistan) to $1,185 (Burkina Faso), with a median of $553. Annual % gross national income costs were 12-370% (median 56%). For the lowest 20% income earners the annual cost ranged 20-1535% (median 153%). St Lucia and Mongolia were the only countries whose governments consistently provided insulin. No government provided meters and strips, which were the most expensive supplies (62% of total cost).


In less-resourced countries, even minimal care is beyond many families' means. In addition, families face additional costs such as consultations, travel and indirect costs. Action to prevent diabetes-related death and morbidity is needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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