The aim of this study is the comparison of 2 studies looking at the barriers to access of diabetes care and medicines in the Philippines and Vietnam. These studies used the Rapid Assessment Protocol for Insulin Access. Diabetes care is provided in specialized facilities and appropriate referral systems are lacking. In Vietnam, no problems were reported with regard to diagnostic tools, whereas this was a concern in the public sector in the Philippines. Both countries had high prices for medicines in comparison to international standards. Availability of medicines was better in Vietnam than in the Philippines, especially with regard to insulin. This affected adherence as did a lack of patient education. As countries aim to provide health care to the majority of their populations through universal coverage, the challenge of diabetes cannot be neglected. Trying to achieve universal coverage in parallel to decentralization, national and local governments need adapted guidance for this.