Algeria will start manufacturing insulin in a move expected to significantly reduce the cost of importing the drug used to manage diabetes, the pharmaceutical industry minister says.
“The validation process has been completed and the unit is ready to start manufacturing insulin from 15 January,” said Ali Aoun.
The Biotherapeutics unit has been built by Algeria company Biocare.
Mr Aoun said importing insulin cost the country $425m (£350m) last year.
Local production is estimated to cover 50% of the demand.
At least 15% of Algeria’s population – that is 2.8 million people – are diabetic, according to the ministry of health.
They estimate that the number could double by the year 2030.
Globally, the International Diabetes Federation estimates the number of people with diabetes at 537 million, and that half of them are not aware of their condition.