Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, are the
leading causes for mortality and morbidity worldwide. Their burden is
increasing fastest in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where
75% of NCD-related deaths occur. Emergency relief and humanitarian
aid organisations have witnessed a significant increase of NCDs among
refugees and internally displaced populations. While in the past these
populations were mostly affected by infectious diseases such as
malaria or cholera, today many also require treatment for NCDs such as
diabetes, hypertension, cancers and respiratory diseases. For a person
with diabetes, the lack of insulin availability can lead to
life-threatening complications such as ketoacidosis, blindness, kidney
failure or heart attack. Concerted action and coordination between
actors is needed to ensure access to healthcare and ongoing treatment
for these patients.
- Novo Nordisk’s primary role in improving care is the discovery
and development of new medicines that help to control disease
progression and prevent complications.
- As a global leader
in diabetes care, Novo Nordisk is committed to using its expertise
access to diabetes care for all people with diabetes.
- The company has a long standing preferential pricing scheme, our
to Insulin Commitment, according to which Novo Nordisk
guarantees to provide human insulin in vials at a guaranteed ceiling
price. The ceiling price for 2017 is set at 4.00 USD per vial
(around 12 cents per day).
- Novo Nordisk also invests in
capacity building, education and prevention in environments where
infrastructure and medical expertise are lacking. This is primarily
done through the long-term financial commitment to the World Diabetes Foundation and the Novo Nordisk Haemophilia
- In addition, Novo Nordisk has established
initiatives that directly contribute to the company-wide efforts to
achieve long-lasting impacts on the availability, accessibility,
affordability and quality of care, as part of its strategy
for access to diabetes care. The strategy includes programmes
such as The
Base of the Pyramid which aims to improve access to
medicines; The Changing
Diabetes in Children programme to improve
access to care for children with type 1 diabetes in LMICs;
Diabetes in Pregnancy programme addressing
gestational diabetes care.
- Medicines donations are not a core component of Novo Nordisk’s
efforts to improving access to care, as they are not seen as having
a long-lasting sustainable impact on health systems.
exception is the donation of human insulin to children through the
Diabetes in Children programme, where access to
treatment for poor and vulnerable children remains a major
- Furthermore, the company has a policy on donations
in case of humanitarian emergencies. When appropriate, NN can decide
to donate medicines, in-kind services and funding to humanitarian
aid organisations working in disaster or conflict struck
environments that require immediate action. All medicines donations
are in adherence with WHO’s Interagency Guidelines for Drug
 WHO (2015). Global Status Report on non-communicable diseases
2014. Geneva: World Health Organization.
 WHO (2010). Guidelines for Drug Donations. Available at: http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/med_donationsguide2011/en/ (accessed 25/06/18).