Stanford scientists warn of insulin shortage growing to affect 40 million diabetics

Going by the numbers, 79 million people with type 2 diabetes will need insulin in the coming 12 years, while the insulin required to treat type 2 diabetes is expected to increase by around 20%.

Access to the drug must be significantly improved, the researchers warn, particularly in the African, Asian and Oceania regions, which will be most affected.

People with type 2 diabetes may be treated with insulin if they have uncontrolled blood glucose levels, and have not been able to lower their glucose levels using metformin or other medication. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include increased thirst and urination, increased hunger, fatigue, blurred vision, sores that take time to heal, numbness and tingling, and unexplained weight loss. But if current quantities of the medicine remain level, as many as 40 million sufferers could be left without it, according to a report in the journal The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology. The quantity of grown-ups with type 2 diabetes is estimated to surge throughout the following 12 years because of urbanization, development, and related changes in eating routine and physical activities.

They predicted that, worldwide, the number of adults with type 2 diabetes will rise from 406 million in 2018 to 511 million in 2030. Only three manufacturers control most of the insulin supply of the world, all of which were accused of conspiring to hike prices intentionally. Researchers noted that the usage of methyldopa is capable of preventing up to 60 percent of type 1 diabetes among people who are at the risk of the disease.

In 2016 an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the drug's price nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013.

Insulin, however, remains costly and prices can be especially out of reach in poorer countries, where tortuous supply chains and high markups by middlemen often make it unaffordable for many patients. The present level of insulin production is indirectly proportional to the growing need of the globe.

While governments continue to encourage healthier lifestyles to prevent type 2 diabetes, the authors of the study also hope for initiatives to make life-changing insulin available and affordable. Half of these people would come from China (130 million), India (98 million), and the U.S. (32 million).

  • Santos West