A new study says by the year 2030, nearly half of those who need the drug won't have access to it.
The study predicts that African, Asian, and Oceania regions will not get the proper amount of insulin in 2030 if the access remains at current levels.
The vast majority have Type 2 diabetes, the kind linked to obesity and lack of exercise, and cases are spreading particularly rapidly in the developing world as people adopt more Western, urban lifestyles.
The study shows that China (130 million) followed by India (98 million), and the U.S. (32 million) will constitute over half of type-2 diabetics by 2030. People who are overweight and obese are more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, according to the National Institute of Health.
Sanjay Basu, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University and who led the study, said: "Despite the UN's commitment to treat noncommunicable diseases and ensure universal access to drugs for diabetes, across much of the world insulin is scarce and unnecessarily hard for patients to access".
"Despite the UN's commitment to treat non-communicable diseases and ensure universal access to drugs for diabetes, across much of the world insulin is scarce and unnecessarily hard for patients to access".
"The number of adults with type 2 diabetes is expected to rise over the next 12 years due to aging, urbanisation and associated changes in diet and physical activity", said Basu. Those with type 2 diabetes may eventually need insulin, but not necessarily.
The figures in India are scarier, with 1 in 20 people having diabetes and 1 in 15 on the verge of getting it. Unless governments commence inventiveness to make insulin accessible and economical, then its application is going to be far from appropriate.
For the study, the team used data from the International Diabetes Federation and 14 cohort studies and estimated the burden of Type-2 diabetes in 221 countries and territories between 2018 and 2030.
A global diabetes epidemic is fueling record demand for insulin, but tens of millions will not get the injections they need unless there is a dramatic improvement in access and affordability, a new study concludes.