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The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a scheme to lower the “overly expensive” price of insulin.

The UN agency wants other drug companies to produce generic versions of insulin, which it will then test.

Since its discovery in 1923, the price of insulin has risen in America from $1 (78p) per vial to about $300 (£233).

About 20 million people have type 1 diabetes and need regular insulin injections to live, according to the WHO.

The 54 million people worldwide with type 2 diabetes only use insulin in severe cases.

A generic version of a drug is chemically similar, but produced by a different pharmaceutical company than those producing the existing drug.

The process of getting pharmaceutical companies to produce generic versions of an existing drug, and then testing it for quality and safety, is known as a prequalification programme.

Once the generic version passes the safety tests, it is introduced into the global marketplace at a cheaper rate, driving down the price of the drug.

The WHO has successfully run similar schemes in the past, most notably for HIV medication in 2001. Read more

Read also: Turkey deports American IS suspect stuck at Greek border

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a scheme to lower the “overly expensive” price of insulin.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a scheme to lower the “overly expensive” price of insulin.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a scheme to lower the “overly expensive” price of insulin.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a scheme to lower the “overly expensive” price of insulin.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a scheme to lower the “overly expensive” price of insulin.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a scheme to lower the “overly expensive” price of insulin.