Insulin's indispensible nature is recognised by its inclusion in the World Health Organization's Essential Medicines List. Despite this insulin is still not available on an uninterrupted basis in many parts of the developing world. The International Insulin Foundation has conducted in-country assessments and based on these findings, the barriers to access to insulin were more to do with problems linked distribution, tendering and government policies than purely accessibility and affordability issues. Lack of insulin leads to poor outcomes for people with diabetes, but access to medicines alone cannot improve levels of health in resource poor settings. Aspects such as strong political will and local champions, data, trained healthcare workers and diabetes associations are just as necessary. Strengthening health systems and developing sustainable and locally owned solutions are vital to improve health and health care for people with diabetes and other chronic conditions in resource poor settings.
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