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In a bid to widen access to insulin in primarily low-income nations in Africa, Eli Lilly has agreed to sell active pharmaceutical ingredients and transfer technology to an Egyptian company that expects to supply the life-saving diabetes treatment to as many as 1 million people by 2030.

The 10-year agreement calls for Lilly to sell the ingredients needed to manufacture both human and analogue insulin at a “significantly reduced” price to EVA Pharma and also provide “pro bono” technology so that the Egyptian company can formulate, fill and finish insulin vials and cartridges. Distribution to 56 countries — all but a handful located in Africa — is expected to begin within 18 months.


“This latest initiative… will empower local manufacturing, finishing and distribution of quality insulin in Africa, which will transform communities and make life better for people throughout the continent,” said Ilya Yuffa, who runs international operations at Lilly, in a statement. The deal is part of a plan to improve access to health care for 30 million people annually in areas with limited resources by 2030.

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