Our Access to Insulin Commitment*

The majority of people with diabetes live in low- and middle income countries(1). Access to reliable and affordable supplies of insulin is a challenge for many. In fact, it is estimated that 50 million people lack access to insulin worldwide (2). 

Novo Nordisk has addressed this challenge since we introduced our Differential Pricing Policy for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in 2001. Under this policy we have offered human insulin in LDCs at a price that does not exceed 20% of the average realised price for Europe, the US, Canada and Japan. 

Our continued commitment to always having a low-cost insulin in our product portfolio and to producing and making human insulin available for years to come is formulated in our updated Access to Insulin Commitment which will apply as of 2017. 


The commitment builds on four principles:

  1. It is our ambition to continue to be the leading supplier of low-priced human insulin in the world. We wish to provide affordable insulin treatment to significantly more patients in developing countries and we are committed to pass on possible future gains in production efficiency to patients.
  2. We guarantee that we will provide low-priced human insulin to ensure access to quality treatments for patients in the poorest parts of the world for many years to come. Our guarantee applies to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as defined by the UN and other low income countries as defined by the World Bank as well as selected organisations providing relief in humanitarian situations.
  3. Our guarantee entails that we will provide the human insulin needed at a guaranteed ceiling price. The annual ceiling price will be decided by our Social and Environmental Committee not exceeding 20% of the human insulin list prices in the Western world. The ceiling price for 2017 is set at 4,00 USD/vial (=10-15 cents per day). The ceiling price applies unless price is determined by local agreements. 
  4. The product supplied under this guarantee will be human insulin vials. As the human and economic conditions improve we will also aim to make more innovative treatment options available in the LDCs and other low income countries.


This commitment is part of our efforts to increase patient reach towards our 40by20 long term target.  

In other low- and middle-income countries, Novo Nordisk sells human insulin at similar prices. In 2015, an estimated 5.5 million patients were treated with insulin for USD 0.19 per day or less, corresponding to a price per vial of USD 4.81 or less. In comparison, an estimated 4.3 million patients were treated with insulin at or below the ceiling price in 2014.


*Renamed from Differential Pricing Policy for the Least Developed Countries

1) International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, seventh edition, 2015

2) ACCISS.  Fact Sheet on Inequities and Inefficiencies in the global insulin market. Amsterdam: Health Action International; 2015. Retrieved from: http://haiweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/ACCISS-Fact-Sheet-1-Inequalities-in-Insulin-Market.pdf. Accessed September 2016