Consensus on Bridges for Barriers to Insulin Therapy

J Assoc Physicians India. 2017 Mar;65(3 Suppl):23-30.


Introduction: Insulin is an effective, safe and well-tolerated drug for glycaemic control. However, there are significant barriers to its use.

Objective: This consensus statement aims to define these barriers and suggest bridges to overcome them.

Methods: The consensus statements are based upon deliberations of a meeting held at New Delhi, India on 20 August 2016. The expert group committee reviewed various barriers to insulin use and categorized them into various categories: patient/community-related, physician-related and drug-related. The committee further proposed recommendations, based on published literature and their clinical experience, to address each of these barriers.

Results: Barriers (and bridges) can be classified as patient/community, physician/provider, and drug/device. Patient and physician barriers can further be categorized as those related to perceived inadequacy, perceived high cost, and perceived lack of benefit. Drug and device barriers can similarly be classified as those linked with perceived inadequacy, perceived high cost, and perceived lack of tolerability. Such a classification allows diabetes care providers to build appropriate bridges, which in turn facilitate timely insulin usage. Patient related barriers can be bridged by education, support and counselling. Use of modern insulin regimes and social marketing can address barriers related to perceived cost and lack of benefit. Physician related barriers can be resolved by training on various aspects of diabetes care. This will also help to break drug and device barriers, by ensuring appropriate choice of regimes, preparations and delivery devices.

Conclusions: The consensus statements provide an easily understandable taxonomic structure of barriers to insulin use. By using a reader-friendly rubric, and by focusing on bridges (rather than barriers alone), it promotes a proactive and positive approach to diabetes management. The consensus statement should serve as a useful pedagogic and clinical tool for diabetes care professionals, and facilitate good diabetes care across the world.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Consensus
  • Directive Counseling
  • Education, Medical
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / economics
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Injections / instrumentation
  • Injections / methods
  • Insulin / adverse effects
  • Insulin / analogs & derivatives
  • Insulin / economics
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Social Marketing
  • Social Stigma


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin