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Production costs and potential prices for biosimilars of human insulin and insulin analogues
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  • Published on:
    The reality of insulin pricing - a call to action for access
    • helen bygrave, NCD Advisor Medecins Sans Frontieres Access Campaign
    • Other Contributors:
      • Christina Cepuch, Pharmacist Coordinator
      • Greg Elder, Medical Director
      • kiran Jobanputra, Deputy Medical Director

    Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) welcomes the analysis of the cost of manufacturing of human and analogue insulins by Gotham and colleagues. This work provides a realistic estimate of significantly lower market prices that would be more affordable for both governments and individuals and should open the eyes of the global health community to the shameful reality of abusive pricing as well as the gross inequity in access to treatment for people living with diabetes.

    In resource-limited settings, access to insulin is centralised and rarely free of charge within the public health system. For those who can access insulin, many must travel once or often twice daily to a clinic to receive their injections, due to fears around home storage of phials and self-injecting - particularly in conflict-affected or insecure settings.

    Human insulin is the only type of insulin included on the WHO Essential Medicines List (EML), and when procured in phials, costs significantly less than analogue insulin or insulin within an adapted device (cartridge or pen) which may simplify delivery. Debates continue around the impact of analogue insulins on diabetes outcomes (HbA1c), but many experts recognise that access may make regimens safer, particularly in settings where MSF works.

    The market dominance of and excessive pricing by the three major human and analogue insulin producing companies - along with the lack of competition from biosimilar manufacturers to challenge this d...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.