Novo Nordisk: Producing half of the world’s insulin supply

We are committed to providing affordable insulin for diabetics in Africa, says Katrine DiBona, VP for Public Affairs & Sustainability, Novo Nordisk

For more than 100 years, Danish multinational healthcare company Novo Nordisk has been translating the unmet medical needs of people living with a serious chronic disease into innovative medicines and delivery systems.

The company’s specialist treatments benefit millions of people around the world who live with diabetes, obesity, and rare blood and endocrine diseases. 

From labs to factory floors, Novo Nordisk is discovering and developing innovative biological medicines and making them accessible to patients throughout the world.

Chronic disease focus aims to target the most urgent healthcare challenges

Novo Nordisk focuses on serious chronic diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people and are among the most urgent global health challenges, including type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, obesity, haemophilia and growth disorders.

By combining innovation and commercial excellence, Novo Nordisk draws upon insights from patients and partners to transform bold ideas into life-saving and preventive medicines.

The company makes long-term investments in groundbreaking treatments and technologies, including curative stem cell-based therapies, to continually advance the development of medical devices and digital health solutions.

Novo Nordisk in statistics: 

  • Produce 50% amount of the world’s insulin supply
  • Produce over 600 million insulin pens
  • Over 36 million people use the company’s diabetes care products
  • Conduct clinical trials in over 50 countries

Producing insulin in Africa

Over 650 million adults around the world suffer from obesity, and by 2030, it is estimated that more than 60 million people living with diabetes worldwide will not have access to the insulin they depend on. 

This will disproportionately affect those living in low- to middle-income countries, including the 24 million adults currently living with diabetes in Africa

Novo Nordisk is partnering with Aspen SA Operations Ltd. and Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited in South Africa to step up existing supply of affordable human insulin, as part of an expanded commitment to provide life-saving treatment to people living with diabetes across the African continent.

“We firmly believe that access to quality healthcare is a fundamental human right,” shares Katrine DiBona, Corporate Vice President for Global Public Affairs and Sustainability at Novo Nordisk. 

"We are committed to providing affordable human insulin to ensure access to quality treatments for even more people with diabetes in the African continent. At the same time, it is equally important for us that we are doing it in a sustainable way by focusing on local production.”

Whilst Novo Nordisk is already reaching more than 500,000 people with diabetes across Sub-Saharan Africa, the new partnership will produce 16 million vials, equivalent to the yearly consumption of 1.1 million people, next year (2024). By 2026, this number will increase to 4.1 million people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes across the African continent.


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