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06-16-2018 | Medications | Review | Article

Availability and Affordability of Essential Medicines: Implications for Global Diabetes Treatment

Current Diabetes Reports

Authors: David Beran, Margaret Ewen, Kasia Lipska, Irl B. Hirsch, John S. Yudkin

Publisher: Springer US


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to highlight the key issues with regard to the value, affordability, and availability of diabetes treatments.

Recent Findings

Many of the medicines needed to manage diabetes are available as generics and, if purchased appropriately, can be made affordable to many individuals and systems. With new treatments for diabetes, additional costs to individuals and systems need to be assessed in terms of added clinical benefit and financial impact. As healthcare finances are limited, increased spending on diabetes medicines means fewer resources for other areas of diabetes care or for the population as a whole. This increased expenditure is driven by rising prevalence as well as the cost of newer treatments.


With an increasing burden of disease and changing patterns of medicines in the market, we stress the need to focus attention on ensuring access for individuals to essential medicines. Universal health care offers unique opportunity to address the issue of access to medicines and the wider issues surrounding access to diabetes care, but this will require concerted action bringing together governments, civil society and the private sector.

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