UAE pharmaceutical manufacturer Julphar has signed an agreement with medical technology firm BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) to supply disposable insulin pens in the Emirates, it announced on Sunday.
US-based BD develops a variety of insulin delivery devices for diabetics.
Through the agreement, Julphar’s human insulin formulations including Jusline R, Jusline N and Jusline 30/70 will be available for administration through BD’s portfolio of BD Vystra disposable pens, a statement said.
The same device will be used for insulin analogues (insulin glargine and insulin lispro), which are still under development.
Insulin pens are small, disposable, lightweight plastic handheld devices containing prefilled insulin cartridges.
Jerome Carle, general manager of Julphar, said: “Many people in the UAE are suffering from what, in some cases, is a preventable condition. Julphar has a responsibility to not only raise awareness of the risk factors but to provide affordable, effective solutions that help diabetes sufferers live healthy, normal lives.
“An insulin pen offers more accuracy, convenience and confidence to diabetes sufferers,” he said.
The UAE has some of the highest rates of diabetes in the world, with 17.3 per cent of the population between the ages of 20 and 79 having the condition, according to 2017 figures from the International Diabetes Federation.
There are over a million people living with diabetes in the UAE, placing the country 15th worldwide for prevalence.
Ras Al Khaimah-based Julphar launched its $150m biopharmaceutical facility in 2012, which has the capacity to produce 1,500kg of recombinant human insulin and insulin analogues crystals (rDNA), equivalent to a combination of 30 million vials and 25 million cartridges and pens of insulin per year.
The disposable insulin pens are now in the final stages of the approval process and are due to be launched as soon as they have been officially registered by the Ministry Of Health.
“The global diabetes market is large and growing. Through our agreement with BD, we will be able to keep pace with the growth and further improve our position in this lucrative market placing us among the top three players in the world,” added Carle.