The World Health Organization launched a pilot program to prequalify biotherapeutic products that contain human insulin as their active ingredient, in an effort to increase access to diabetes treatments.
The WHO’s existing prequalification program, established in 2001, evaluates drug products to “prequalify” them for markets in low- and middle-income countries and increase the amount of cheaper options available. High prices for insulin products create barriers for patients in those nations.
Prequalifying products from additional companies will help “ensure a steadier supply of quality insulin in all countries,” said Mariângela Simão, WHO’s assistant director general for medicines.
The WHO also is updating its diabetes treatment guidelines, creating price reduction strategies for drug analogues and improving delivery systems and access to diagnostics.