The development of therapeutic insulin in 1921 was a landmark breakthrough in the history of medicine. 100 years on, millions of lives have been saved and improved but insulin and other diabetes medicines and care still remain beyond the reach of many who need them.
World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nations Resolution 61/225. It is marked every year on 14 November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
Worldwide, close to half a billion people live with diabetes. Without significant action to address the global impact of the condition, we anticipate the number will rise to more than 700 million over the next 25 years.
Securing universal access to insulin for all who require it remains a global challenge. The barriers to access and affordability are myriad and complex, reflecting the multiple steps involved in the production, distribution, and pricing, as well as the infrastructure required to ensure the appropriate and safe use of insulin.