Insulin injection – File photo/Pixabay
CAIRO - 13 April 2018: Insulin stock in public and private companies will meet the needs of diabetics for the upcoming four months, the Ministry of Health and Population declared on Thursday.
Head of the Central Administration of Pharmacy Affairs at the Ministry of Health Rasha Ziadeh said in a press statement issued on Thursday that the stock of Insulin includes 850,000 premixed imported Insulin vials at the Egyptian Pharmaceutical Trading Company along with 100,000 imported vials that have been distributed across pharmacies. She remarked that medical supply stocks have also 180,000 vials of imported Insulin.
Ziadeh added that Insulin’s local production has reached 4.5 million Insulin vials, and it is estimated that the local production will rise to 150 percent.
She remarked that 350,000 vials of local insulin have been supplied to meet the consumption needs for the upcoming four months.
Ziadeh added that the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) has conducted regular inspections on the amount of insulin in pharmacies across Egypt and the ministry monitors the drug stocks to ensure that strategic drug stocks will suffice patients for at least three months to prevent any medicine shortages.
In this regard, she stressed that there were no Insulin shortages in the last year, and only a penicillin shortage was seen.
In the same context, a pharmacist at Al-Rehab district told Egypt Today that the shortage of Insulin ended six months ago; however, Insulin prices have increased by 50 percent to range from LE 70 to LE 600 for each Insulin pen and LE 38 for each vial.
Since the flotation of the Egyptian pound on Nov. 3, 2016, key drugs have disappeared from the market, among them basic medicines like Insulin, government-subsidized imported baby formula and contraceptive pills. The shortage affected patients with chronic diseases the most; especially those with hypertension and diabetes.
The pharmaceutical companies have suspended the production of some drugs to prevent financial losses since they are unable to import drugs and its active ingredients without raising their prices above levels set by the Ministry of Health.
In 2011, the International Diabetes Federation estimated that approximately 7 million people were living with diabetes in Egypt. By 2013, the number had increased to 7.5 million, making Egypt the world’s ninth highest country in terms of the number of people with diabetes, with an average daily mortality rate of 237 caused by diabetes since 2013, according to the statistics on the official website of the leading global healthcare company in diabetes care, Novo Nordisk.
In an attempt to meet the needs of diabetics in terms of Insulin, Ibnsina Pharma, Egypt’s fastest-growing and second-largest pharmaceutical distributor, signed two contracts with Novo Nordisk on March 20, 2018 to distribute over 20 stock-keeping units of its diabetes care.
“Our strategic stock of insulin is safe,” said Minister of Health and Population on July 5, 2017 while inspecting Insulin Medical Professions Company which produces 40 percent of Insulin market needs.
He announced that he is expected to hand President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi a 15-day periodical report about any shortage in medications to consider solutions to decrease exporting medicine and domestically manufacture them instead.