Global Reality of Type 1 Diabetes in 2013

Dr. Mark Atkinson, Professor and American Diabetes Association Eminent Scholar at the University of Florida, is a visionary leader in the effort to make insulin available as a global resource; as recently highlighted in the September 2013 journal issue of Diabetes Care Magazine.

In an ‘Observation to the Editor’Dr. Atkinson and colleagues from Switzerland and London wrote about the need to bring insulin to individuals who are “facing a challenge to survive.”  From a global perspective, the most common cause of death for a child with type 1 diabetes is lack of access to insulin1Approximately one-third of people reported a lack of financial resources to buy the lifesaving medication or related insulin supplies, according to one U.S. study2.

The article attributes recent success in the effort to save lives to organizations such as Insulin for Life, Life for a Child, which are attempting to alleviate the current reality through the provision of supplies and improved education. But a “charity-based model” cannot solve the problem. Dr. Atkinson and his international colleagues lay out several solutions: 1) adapt health-system responses in resource-poor settings to the challenges that exist for those with type 1 diabetes, and 2) make tools and programs available that target this need.

Additionally, the recently-launched “100 Campaign” seeks to identify bottlenecks in the process of insulin delivery at a global and local level. You can read more about the 100 Campaign below. By 2022, the organization comprised of global leaders caring for people with diabetes, commits to insulin being available to all those who require it. “We can change the current realities that exist so that all can benefit from advances in diabetes management and care.”

To read the complete article, click here.


1. Gale EA. Dying of diabetes. Lancet 2006; 368:1626–1628.

2. Randall L, Begovic J, Hudson M, et al. Recurrent diabetic ketoacidosis in inner-city minority patients: behavioral, socioeconomic, and psychosocial factors. Diabetes Care 2011;34:1891–1896.


“The 100 Campaign”

September 14th, 2012

Although it has been 90 years since insulin was discovered, many people around the globe with diabetes still lack access to this lifesaving medication. In response to this crisis, the International Insulin Foundation has launched the “100 Campaign” to ensure 100 percent access to insulin by the 100th anniversary of the drug’s first clinical use.

Dr. Atkinson and his international colleagues, with an article published recently in the prestigious journal The Lancet, note, in honor of World Diabetes Day, their hope to emulate the success of global HIV/AIDS activists, who have marshaled sufficient political will to make antiretroviral therapy available and affordable. It is Dr. Atkinson’s hope that in 10 years’ time, the leading cause of death in a child with diabetes will not be lack of access to insulin. To read the full article text, please click here.