Lars Rebien Sørensen, President and CEO, Novo Nordisk A/S
...we could solve the problem of diabetes in my lifetime - even if that sounds strange as this is where we make our living. But if it can be done, we must be the ones to do it.
With all our technological progress it must surely be possible to cure diabetes, and with all our knowledge and expertise it would be a crime if we did not try to find the solution. After all, being there for our patients is our express goal, and we know that their greatest wish is good health. So we must - and indeed want to - do our utmost to solve the riddle and then we'll have to find another way of making our living.
Whatever we do in the future, it must be something important, something that really helps people, something that makes a difference. We have so much research competence here and so many specialist skills that we can apply to other fields; take NovoSeven®, for example, the drug we developed specifically for treating people with haemophilia, but which now looks as if it may be able to help far more people than we initially believed, people who otherwise might die.
I want people to feel they can take pride in working for Novo Nordisk. We must maintain the delicate balance between making medicine for patients, some of whom may be terminally ill, and making money in a decent manner, ensuring that we can look people in the face. This cannot be done without healthy finances, but we have responsibility to more than just the bottom line: we are just as responsible to our customers, the patients, to our employees, to the environment and to society.
We must also be able to attract and keep accomplished employees in every position - people who share our aspirations. Naturally, we want to work in partnership with other companies who can reinforce our skills - but only if they share our attitudes and values. We are not prepared to compromise our unique focus on being there for our patients.