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Biocon Biologics Takes Forward Its Mission to Unlock Universal Access to Insulins Globally

  • Posted by: BIOCON

Participating at IDF Congress 2019, Busan, to Engage with Key Stakeholders

Busan, South Korea, Dec 03, 2019

Biocon Biologics, a fully integrated ‘pure play’ global biosimilars organisation, is taking forward its mission of unlocking affordable access to quality insulins for people with diabetes across the world. Even as we near the 100th anniversary of insulin being first used to treat a patient with diabetes, lack of equitable access to affordable insulin remains a key impediment to successful treatment for diabetes, leading to co-morbid complications and premature deaths.

Growing worldwide concern about the cost of insulin is driving the quest to find viable, long-term solutions to improve insulin access and affordability.

Biocon Biologics, committed to enabling affordable access, has launched its ‘Unlock Universal Access to Quality Insulins’ initiative.

In September 2019, the Company made an announcement to enable universal access to recombinant human Insulin (rh-Insulin), by offering it at less than 10 US cents / day for Governments in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). The announcement was made at a UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange event held on the side-lines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

More importantly on November 14, the WHO launched its first-ever insulin prequalification pilot program to increase treatment for diabetes in LMICs. WHO prequalification of insulin is expected to boost access by increasing the flow of quality-assured products on the international market, providing countries with greater choice and patients with lower prices.

Biocon Biologics welcomes WHO’s first-ever insulin prequalification program to increase treatment for diabetes in LMICs.

Biocon Biologics is now taking forward its mission to unlock affordable access to insulin at the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Congress 2019, which is among the most significant global diabetes events and one of the largest medical congresses in the world. The theme of IDF 2019, being held in Busan, South Korea between December 2 and December 6, 2019, is ‘Shape the future of diabetes.’

The IDF Congress brings together the global diabetes community to tackle a broad range of diabetes issues, from latest scientific advances to cutting-edge information on education, diabetes care, advocacy and awareness.

Christiane Hamacher, CEO, Biocon Biologics, said: “We are delighted to be participating in the International Diabetes Federation Congress for the first time. In the run-up to the 100th anniversary of insulin, Biocon Biologics has embarked on a mission to unlock universal access to high quality insulin, guided by the conviction that a lifesaving product like this needs to be accessible to patients globally, both in emerging and developed countries. Our participation at the IDF Congress is aimed at addressing current issues around insulin access, especially opportunities and value offered by biosimilars, how to achieve equitable care and sustaining India’s role as pharmacy to the world. In line with our aspiration to reach ‘one in five’ insulin-dependent people with diabetes globally, we want to work closely with key stakeholders worldwide to find ways to ensure that insulin reaches those who need them the most.”

As a credible, global insulins player, Biocon Biologics has been engaging with key stakeholders at various global forums to find ways to increase affordable access to rh-insulin and ensure the drug reaches those who need them the most. At IDF, Biocon Biologics will engage with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), including physicians, scientists, educators, healthcare professionals, government representatives, policy makers, and IDF members to take forward its mission to unlock affordable access to insulin.

Nearly a century after the discovery of insulin, millions of people with diabetes are denied access to this life-saving therapy due to its prohibitive costs. Insulin-dependent diabetes patients are not just finding it difficult to access insulin in emerging markets, even those in developed markets like U.S. are finding it difficult to afford insulins therapy.

As a part of its Universal Access Initiative, Biocon Biologics is organizing a symposium on ‘100 years of Insulin – Delivering on Universal Access & Equitable Care’ during the IDF congress. This Symposium will be attended by leading KOLs and thought leaders from across the globe, including Dr Andrew Boulton, Professor at Manchester University and President Elect IDF: Dr Irl Hirsch, Professor of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition, University of Washington, U.S.; Dr Shashank Joshi, endocrinologist, diabetologist, medical researcher & IDF’s South East Asia Chair-elect; and Dr Radhakrishna Sothiratnam, consultant physician, Columbia Asia Hospital, Seremban, Malaysia.

As a company committed to ensure equitable access to insulins globally, Biocon Biologics is pursuing the path of innovation to enable affordable access to human insulin to diabetes patients in need of insulin in LMICs. In line with this mission, Biocon Biologics is offering recombinant human insulin (rh-insulin) at a basic price of less than 10 US cents per day in LMICs for vials sourced by the government directly from Biocon, assuming an insulin dosage of 40 IU per day. Currently, the blended median patient prices in LMICs are US$ 9 per 10 ml vial1 translating to 36 US cents/ day. The current US list price in retail is over US$ 5 / day2.

Biocon Biologics is willing to work with governments to ensure ways to overcome price barriers, including through special pricing and setting up low-cost manufacturing facilities via public-private partnerships. The Company also seeks to work with healthcare systems and payers worldwide to ensure that insulin pricing is not a constraint to the well-being of individuals and of communities.

Despite the capital-intensive nature of insulin production, Biocon Biologics has succeeded in expanding access to insulin therapy in India and key global markets by pursuing an innovation strategy that is rooted in affordability. Biocon Biologics has one of the largest insulin manufacturing capacities in the world, which it is using to shift the access paradigm for insulin worldwide. It has cumulatively supplied over 2 billion doses of biosimilar insulins so far to patients globally over the last 15 years. In multiple countries like Mexico and Malaysia, most of the insulin-requiring diabetics take Biocon Biologics’ Insulins. The Company’s biosimilar insulins are also making a difference to people with diabetes in developed markets like EU, Japan and Australia.

The Company’s rh-Insulin has been approved in over 40 countries and commercialized in countries like India, Mexico and Malaysia, while Insulin Glargine has been approved in over 60 markets and commercialized in countries like India, Australia, EU, Japan, UAE, South Korea, Mexico and Malaysia.

Lack of access to affordable insulin remains a key impediment to successful treatment of diabetes and results in needless complications and premature deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). About 65 million people with Type 2 diabetes need insulin, but only half of them are able to access it, largely due to high prices3. All people with Type 1 diabetes need insulin to survive. The result is that high blood sugar levels have been linked to 4.2 million deaths around the world in 20194.


  1. Over 463 Mn people have diabetes globally
  2. 4 out of 5 people with diabetes live in LMICs
  3. 1 in 2 adults with diabetes go undiagnosed (over 212 Mn people)
  4. 1 in 14 adults has impaired glucose tolerance (352 Mn people)
  5. Over 1 Mn children and adolescents have Type 1 Diabetes
  6. 1 in 6 live births is affected by hyperglycemia in pregnancy
  7. 35% of the children and adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes come from US, India and Brazil
  8. About 65 million people with Type 2 diabetes need insulin, but only half of them are able to access it

Diabetes currently affects over 463 million people worldwide and this number is projected to reach 578 million by 2030, and 700 million by 20454

1. BMJ Global Health 2019: Insulin Prices Availability and affordability in 13 LMICs.
3. WHO
4. IDF Diabetes Atlas 2019

About Biocon Biologics:
Biocon Biologics is a subsidiary of Biocon Ltd, an innovation led global biopharmaceuticals company. Biocon Biologics is engaged in developing high quality, affordable biosimilars aimed at expanding patient access to cutting-edge class of therapies across the world.  It is uniquely positioned as a fully integrated ‘pure play’ biosimilars organization globally. Biocon Biologics aspires to transform patient lives through innovative and inclusive healthcare solutions. The Company has a large portfolio of biosimilars under global clinical development with three of these commercialized in developed markets like U.S, EU, Australia and Japan. Biocon Biologics has a product pipeline of 28 molecules, including 11 partnered with Mylan, several with Sandoz and many being developed independently. Follow Biocon Biologics on twitter: @bioconbiologics 

About Biocon Ltd:
Biocon Limited, publicly listed in 2004, (BSE code: 532523, NSE Id: BIOCON, ISIN Id: INE376G01013) is an innovation-led global biopharmaceuticals company committed to enhance affordable access to complex therapies for chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer and autoimmune. It is a leading global player for high quality biosimilars, APIs including statins, immunosuppressants and specialty molecules. Biocon has developed and commercialized novel biologics, biosimilars, and complex small molecule APIs in India and several key global markets as well as generic formulations in the U.S. and Europe. It also has a pipeline of promising novel assets in immunotherapy under development.  Biocon is committed to pursue the path of innovation to develop products that have the potential to benefit a billion lives. For further information, please visit follow Biocon Limited on Twitter @bioconlimited

Author: BIOCON
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