South African drug company Aspen to produce insulin for African patients
South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare will produce human insulin for diabetes patients in Africa, where there is a dire need for the life-saving treatment, the AP reported.
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention welcomed the move Wednesday, saying it would “greatly impact the fight against diabetes” in Africa.
Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk has contracted Aspen to convert insulin into finished doses at its plant in Gqeberha, South Africa, the companies said when announcing the partnership in separate statements on Tuesday.
They project the production of 16 million vials in 2024, the yearly amount needed to treat 1.1 million patients in Africa, and an increase to enough insulin to treat 4.1 million diabetes patients on the continent annually by 2026. Production will start at the beginning of next year.
The insulin will be distributed to national health authorities and non-governmental organizations through a “low-cost” tender system, Novo Nordisk said.
Last year, the World Health Organization estimated that there are 24 million adults living with diabetes in Africa, saying the number is expected to rise to 55 million by 2045.