Press Release | 10 July 2019

AMSTERDAM—Health Action International (HAI) today supported the announcement that long-acting analogue insulins would not be added to the World Health Organization (WHO) Model List of the Essential Medicines (EML).

The most recent data on government procurement prices from HAI’s Addressing the Challenge and Constraints of Insulin Sources and Supply (ACCISS) Study has shown that analogue insulins are six times the price of human insulin, which is already on the EML. Meanwhile, there is no independent evidence to show that long-acting analogue insulins are more cost-effective than human insulin.

Dr Margaret Ewen, co-lead of the ACCISS Study, said:

“A decision to include analogue insulins in the EML would increase pressure on national governments to purchase these far higher priced insulins. In low- and middle-income countries, where health systems budgets are already stretched, this would have disastrous consequences for people in need of insulin.”

Dr Ewen added:

“When the price of long-acting analogue insulin is lowered to an affordable level for governments and individuals, we would welcome a thorough evaluation on its value on the EML.”

HAI also welcomed that the WHO has taken on-board recommendations made by the ACCISS Study in a statement to the WHO Expert Committee on Essential Medicines in April 2019. When implemented, these recommendations will help to lower prices and improve the affordability of quality-assured insulins.


  • The WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines met in the week of 1 April 2019 to discuss applications for inclusion on the EML. External parties were invited to provide submissions in favour or against inclusion during an Open Session of the Committee on 1 April.
  • HAI’s statement to the Committee was delivered, on our behalf, by the former WHO Director for Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies, Dr Hans Hogerzeil.
  • The HAI statement to the committee can be found here.


  • ACCISS is co-led by Health Action International, University of Geneva and Boston University. The study is guided by an Advisory Group comprised of leading international experts in access to medicines, diabetes and insulin.
  • ACCISS is funded by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
  • To find out more, visit the ACCISS Toolkit

For interview requests and further information, please contact:
Alex Lawrence | Communications Manager | Health Action International
T: +31 20 412 4523 | M: +31 6 1832 1612 |