Researchers have warned that better access to insulin needs to be ensured, especially in the African, Asian and Oceania regions, which they predict will be the most affected.
The researchers calculated that compared to current levels of insulin access, if universal global access was achieved, the number of people with type 2 diabetes worldwide using insulin in 2030 would double (from around 38 million to 79 million).
Insulin is essential for all people with type 1 diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes to reduce the risk of complications such as blindness, amputation, kidney failure, and stroke, researchers said. The historical data that they used for their projections come from 14 studies that involved 60% of all people with type 2 diabetes around the world.
Sanjay Basu, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University and who led the study, said: "Despite the UN's commitment to treat noncommunicable diseases and ensure universal access to drugs for diabetes, across much of the world insulin is scarce and unnecessarily hard for patients to access". Among the findings was a projected 20 percent rise in total type 2 diabetes sufferers, from 406 million in 2018 to 511 million in 2030.
The Guardian quoted Dr Sanjay Basu from Stanford University in the United States, who led the research, as saying the current levels of insulin access are inadequate specially in Africa and Asia, requiring more efforts to overcome this shortage.
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In the next 12 years, half of those with type 2 diabetes won't be able to receive potentially life-saving insulin unless access to the drug improves, new research shows.
"Despite the U.N.'s commitment to treat noncommunicable diseases and ensure universal access to drugs for diabetes, across much of the world insulin is scarce and unnecessarily hard for patients to access". 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.
Not all diabetics are, however, in need of insulin.
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. In 2017, diabetes patients sued those companies for driving up insulin prices. Past research has found that insulin cost nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013, underscoring the affordability issue. The creators caution that procedures to make insulin all the more broadly accessible and reasonable will be hard to guarantee that request is met.