Not enough work is being done on diabetes research in India, even though the country remains one of the most affected by the spread of the disease. Indian scientists have published only one percent of the research works published globally.
The editorial in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, in an assessment of the work done on the subject in India, says: "Scientists from India published a total of 3068 papers during the 30 year period (1976-2006), or about 1.04 per cent of total global output on diabetes (2,77,781)".
It is estimated that the number of diabetics in India is likely to increase from the present 49.8 million to 69.9 million by 2025. But, no clear picture of the prevalence of diabetes in various parts of India is available.
"The limited data available from India showed no clear trends. Surely, we are not doing enough," says Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Senior Deputy Director General Dr. K Satyanarayana.
According to Institute of Scientific Information in Philadelphia, India was ranked at the 22nd place as far as research papers were concerned during the decade 1991-2001. The number of research papers was only 943 as compared to the US with over 100,000 articles on diabetes.
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, Diabetes Research Centre, Chennai and Madras Diabetes Research Foundation have made signification contribution in the country's diabetes research work.
However, Indian industry has not fared too badly. For instance, Dr Reddy's Laboratory, Hyderabad is in the third phase of clinical trials of a new class of anti-diabetic drugs, an insulin sensitizer for type-2 diabetes.
The Bangalore-based Biocon, after introducing Insugen -- the first human recombinant insulin in India -- has an intra-nasal insulin spray - Nasulin - in its second phase of clinical trials for type-2 diabetes.
The editorial says that diabetes, heart disease and cancer affect poor as much they affect the affluent. The editorial suggested that developing countries like India and China should address the issue of diabetes prevention and management with all seriousness and find affordable health products for diabetes.