LAHORE: As World Diabetes Day approaches, Sanofi Pakistan marked 100 years of insulin discovery with distinguished health experts of the country, namely, Prof Dr. Saeed A Mahar, Past President: Pakistan Endocrine Society, Dr. Abbas Raza, ISE Executive Committee member: International Society of Endocrinology (2018 – 2022) and Dr. Faisal Masood Qureshi, Executive Member: Pakistan Endocrine Society.
“In 1923, Sanofi was the first to produce insulin commercially and activate its power to save and improve lives. Since then, we have played a pivotal role in innovations whose transformative power today reaches over 15 million people”, shared Salman Shamim (Head of Diabetes Franchise, Sanofi Pakistan). “Before insulin, the only treatment for diabetes consisted of a starvation diet”, he added.
He further shared with the audience that Sanofi’s insulin campus in Frankfurt is the center of its insulin expertise, and the world’s largest insulin production site in the world.
According to the latest figures released by IDF, Pakistan now has the highest number of people living with diabetes in the world, after China and India. More than a quarter of adults living with diabetes in Pakistan are undiagnosed. Expressing serious concern over the rising number of diabetics in the country, Dr. Saeed A Mahar said, “We have left even the US behind, ranking now at number 3”.
Dr. Abbas Raza spoke about the barriers physicians face when initiating insulin therapy, terming insulin distress or insulin hesitancy as a real challenge in diabetes management in the country. “This is an opportune time to highlight the benefits of insulin therapy for those who cannot achieve good diabetes control on oral medicines”, he remarked.
Dr. Faisal Qureshi added that despite the availability of insulin, its use is still not optimum, and that there was need to increase knowledge amongst physicians and patients to use this treatment before complications set in.
Salman Shamim concluded the press briefing by sharing that Sanofi works closely with health care professionals to understand and address the unique needs of patients for diabetes management. He cited various patient access and support programs launched by his team to promote diabetes management all across the country.
Sanofi is one of the official partners of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) for this year’s World Diabetes Campaign.