Lilly and EVA Pharma to aid affordable insulin access in Africa

Insulin for at least one million diabetics in low- and middle-income countries, mainly in Africa, is the aim of Eli Lilly and EVA Pharmaceutical’s new collaboration.

Lilly and EVA Pharma to aid affordable insulin access in lower income countries, Africa

At least one million people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in low- to middle-income countries (LMICs), mainly Africa, are set to benefit from Eli Lilly and Company and manufacturer EVA Pharmaceutical’s new collaboration delivering a sustainable supply of high-quality, affordable human and analogue insulin to this population.

EVA Pharma anticipates beginning distribution of the African-made insulin products within 18 months. Lilly’s 30×30 initiative aims to improve access to quality healthcare for 30 million people living in limited-resource settings, annually, by 2030.

This initiative is the first time Lilly will supply its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for insulin at a significantly reduced price to EVA Pharma. Lilly will also provide a pro-bono technology transfer to enable EVA Pharma to formulate, fill and finish insulin vials and cartridges.

Improving access to insulin in low- and middle-income countries

“People suffering from diabetes in LMICs experience daily challenges in accessing treatment,” noted Riad Armanious, CEO of EVA Pharmaceutical.

“Our new collaboration with EVA Pharma [will help make] equitable and affordable access to insulin a reality for people living with diabetes in low- and middle-income countries,” commented Ilya Yuffa, President of Lilly International. “This initiative will empower local manufacturing, finishing and distribution of quality insulin in Africa.”

WHO’s Global Diabetes Compact

In 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) established the Global Diabetes Compact, a global initiative to support countries in implementing effective programmes for the prevention and management of diabetes. One element includes engaging with the private sector to expand access to products that will improve the lives of people living with diabetes. Communication with WHO encourage implementation of and accountability for the commitments and contributions toward improving access to insulin.

WHO Director for Noncommunicable Disease, Dr Bente Mikkelsen described that the collaboration between Lilly and EVA “… is an important step in the right direction, but global engagement will need to be translated into implementation in regions and countries.”

Mikkelsen added that “the hope is to have insulin and diabetes devices as part of Essential Benefit Packages in low- and middle-income countries towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.”