The first practical use of insulin by Banting and Best in 1921 heralded a medical revolution. Overnight, type 1 diabetes went from being a uniformly fatal disease to a manageable disorder. Thousands of people around the world have received awards for surviving 50 years on insulin – some reaching 80 years. Insulin is classified by WHO as an essential drug. Yet, 85 years after its discovery, untold thousands of people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes in developing countries die each year because they can neither readily access nor afford insulin.