April 10, 1996 in Nation/World

Kazakstan’s Debt Could Kill Diabetics

Compiled From Wire Services

Thousands of diabetics in the former Soviet republic of Kazakstan may die if the cash-strapped government fails to pay for more insulin in the next month, a diabetics association said Tuesday.

“We have still enough insulin for one month,” Lyudmila Taran, vice-president of the association, told The Associated Press. “After that our diabetics will die.”

Of the 100,000-plus diabetics registered in the republic of 17 million people, about 10,000 are insulin-dependent, including 1,200 children, Taran said.

Without insulin these children could die within a week, she said.

By law, diabetics are entitled to free medicine from the government. But the government has been unable to pay for previous insulin shipments - it owes $100,000 to the U.S. pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co.

Cem Colakoglu, Central Asia representative for Eli Lilly, told The AP that the company would supply no more insulin to Kazakstan until it is paid.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email