The Prevention and Control of Diabetes is in Urgency

November 29 21:01 2022

November 14th is World Diabetes Day. According to the data released on the official website of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), in 2021, the number of adult diabetics worldwide has reached 537 million with an increase case of 74 million and a growth rate of 16% compared with 2020. And there were about 6.7 million people died of diabetes or complications of diabetes throughout the year, accounting for 12.2% of deaths worldwide. It is predicted that the number of diabetics is going to rise to 783 million by 2045. These rapidly growing number of diabetics indicate that global diabetes prevention and control will face a severe situation.

From the current level of medical care, the insulin pump therapy, which can reduce the need for needles, stabilize blood glucose, and reduce the risk of complications, is one of the key clinical methods to achieve diabetes prevention and control. And the rapidly growing number of diabetics is driving the continuous expansion of insulin pump applications worldwide. According to IDF data, the global market of insulin pumps was valued at US$5.6 billion in 2020 and will continue to grow at a CAGR of 14%. By 2025, the market size will reach US$10.5 billion. However, it is contradicted that comparing with the growing trend shown by the overall market, the penetration of insulin pumps in some countries with a high prevalence of diabetes is not ideal. According to the IDF map of diabetes in Southeast Asia, although this region already had 16.8% of the world’s diabetics and would have the second largest number of diabetics in the world with 90 million by 2045, Southeast Asia spent US$10.1 billion on diabetes, accounting for only 1% of the total expenditure on global diabetes prevention and control.

The reason is that the high price of insulin pumps discourages many diabetics. According to the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, the insulin pumps cost for individuals without insurance is between $4,500 and $6,500 and the price varies depending on the features, brands and size of the pumps. Besides, the infusion lines, syringes and batteries that come with the pumps need to be replaced regularly. The Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, estimates that these items cost about $1,500 per year. Patients will also need to pay for the insulin and the cost for insulin varies widely depending on the individual’s dosage. According to the nonprofit group, the average cost of insulin for diabetics without insurance is about $785 dollars per year. The sum of these costs has brought a considerable financial burden to the individual diabetics and countries. Therefore, under a comprehensive consideration, patients are inclined to choose other relatively low-cost treatment options, resulting in a low penetration rate of insulin pumps.

In addition, although insulin pump therapy has good clinical effect, most of the existing insulin pumps are too large and not portable. Therefore, there is a current industry consensus to make insulin pumps smaller and more portable to improve user experience. However, it is technically challenging to assemble many components into a smaller insulin pump with a complex overall structure. It is reported that ZHAOWEI Machinery & Electronics (stock code: 003021), who has many years of experience in R&D and manufacture in the field of micro drives, has cooperated with many medical device manufacturers and introduced corresponding micro drive system solutions in various fields such as medical care and personal care. Among them, for the injection gearbox of insulin pumps, ZHAOWEI’s self-developed micro stepper motor with precise driving capability can intelligently control the dosage of insulin injections while making the pump body only the size of an ordinary matchbox.

The pandemic of diabetes and its complications has placed a heavy health and economic burden on the world. Reducing the cost of diabetes treatment and alleviating the economic burden for diabetics have become one of the major issues to be addressed urgently in human medical care. It is believed that with the continuous deepening of human understanding of the mechanism of diabetes and its complications and the progress in drug development, monitoring technology and treatment concepts, the drugs and methods of treatment for diabetes and its complications in the future will be both affordable and able to improve the function of vital organs and delay the development of complications while controlling blood glucose.

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