We had the opportunity to talk to Novo Nordisk employees
in different parts of the organization - and world - about
their ambitions for 2020, their expectations for the future
and the steps their taking to realise their goals.
16 of our colleagues - from all over the globe- share their 2020 ambitions, expectations for the future and the steps they're taking to make their ambitions a reality. It's safe to say that 2020 is shaping up to be an exciting year at Novo Nordisk.
Director, Global Access to Care
In the coming year, I would like to set aside more time for engaging with patients and health care professionals and organisations. In my experience, this engagement is important in order for us to develop new solutions for improving access to care for people with diabetes. Around 50 million people with diabetes worldwide lack access to insulin, and Novo Nordisk can play an important role in addressing this challenge. This will require that I am working closely with my team and colleagues and stay 100% focused on how we can improve availability and affordability of diabetes care.
Global access to care is really about what we can do as a business for the benefit of patients and us as a company. I witness an extraordinary willingness in our organisation to do more to improve access to care. I believe we have an opportunity to engage with people in our organisation who can bring new business solutions to reach underserved patients around the world. I also see an opportunity for Novo Nordisk to differentiate itself to help solve some of the global challenges our world faces.
In Global Access to Care, we can foresee a lot of attention on us as a company because we are a leading provider of diabetes care. Access to our products makes a huge difference to millions of people. Society uses significant resources on the burden of diabetes. We are also part of a wider pharmaceutical industry which is under pressure to take a wider responsibility for solving global issues.
We have the privilege in Novo Nordisk to have a dedicated Global Access to Care area with a clear mandate to make a meaningful difference for people with diabetes. I am proud to be responsible for our programme Changing Diabetes in Children, which has provided treatment to over 25,000 children. I am also proud of our commitment to provide low-priced insulin to low and middle-income countries and humanitarian organisations. In the coming year, I will work even more closely with different parts of our global organisation to further improve these programmes. This is part of what makes it so attractive to be a part of Novo Nordisk.
I would like to see solutions like patient support programmes and patient engagement activities (supporting people living with chronic disease beyond just medicine) to be more innovative and to reach people where they already are. We should be able to leverage already existing solutions like social media to support people and connect them to each other. There are a lot of learnings from outside the pharma industry we could use to achieve that.
In terms of patient engagement and patient relations, the future is extremely interesting and exciting. With growing knowledge and access to information, people living with chronic diseases very often are becoming their own doctors─learning from others online and trying out new solutions beyond the drug to ease the disease management. Novo Nordisk and others should focus on directly engaging with patients and co-create together to match their needs and truly put the customer at the centre.
Outside the industry, there is a growing focus on user experience design and creating solutions and services, which adapt to the user as an individual. In my area, we make sure that the insights from the user are getting to those who are creating solutions and services. We also co-create projects directly with end users. By interacting with people living with diabetes and obesity on daily basis, I can see where and how we make a difference and where and how we can improve to create even bigger impact on the individual. Now patients are truly at the centre of what we do, and they are there to direct us.
Project Manager, Global Patient Relations
Director, IO-SO Executive Office and Sustainability, International Operations
2019 was a very exciting year for me and my team – we entered a partnership with UNICEF to work together to prevent childhood overweight and obesity. My resolution for 2020 is to, together with UNICEF, start implementing the activities of the partnership and to start to have an impact on hundreds of thousands of children in Latin America.
Having our partnership with UNICEF in mind, I would like to see other actors and sectors joining the cause on preventing childhood overweight and obesity across the world. No single individual or organisation can fight childhood overweight and obesity on their own – it is a shared responsibility.
I think the future will bring more of these type of partnerships across the globe that can work across industry, governments and NGOs to tackle worldwide issues where we stand stronger and have a larger impact together than alone. With these type of efforts, I am hopeful that we can truly make a difference for millions of people out there living with either diabetes, obesity or other serious chronic diseases.
By joining Novo Nordisk, you will be able to work in a company that
puts the patient at the centre and where we go beyond the financial
bottom line to work to prevent and ultimately defeat chronic diseases.
This is a bold purpose and one that makes me extremely proud. If you
are interested in working in a company where you can have this type of
impact on so many people living with chronic diseases, then Novo
Nordisk is the place for you.
Learn more here
Tove Iren Spissøy Gerhardsen
Senior global communication manager, Obesity Commercial Unit
This year, my focus is on keeping things simple and ‘human’, ie telling stories about obesity. This means facilitating clearer communication about our plans and purpose within my working area.
By doing so, we'll be able to continue helping a lot of people living with obesity, thereby playing a key role in solving a major public health issue – and indeed global issue in general.
Obesity is affecting many of us – we all know a colleague, family
member or even a child in our kids’ school classes – that are
effected. Making sure these people are respected and helped is indeed
a noble, important and meaningful task. Novo Nordisk has a key role to
play in this area, which is why obesity is such an interesting global
health area to work in.
Vice President, Corporate Environmental Strategy
My goals for the year ahead are to continue to inspire all Novo Nordisk colleagues to integrate Circular for Zero in their work and encourage other companies to be bold. Environment and Climate are high on the agenda for many companies, but I would love to see more ambitious targets and action.
There will be more and more focus on how to integrate sustainability into business and it is important to ensure this integration, in order to be here in the long run. We have now kicked off our new environmental ambition, Circular for Zero, and this is just the beginning – now it is time to develop all the innovative solutions and show results.
Learn more here.
Our workplace resolution is to laugh together at least once a day. Like everyone else, we work hard, in a challenging environment, and what we do is serious and important stuff. We want to create a workplace in which everyone has the opportunity to realise their potential and we are so fortunate to have a team that is passionate about what we do, and we thrive with the challenges. But, in our experience, the secret ingredient in our sauce is a good laugh with colleagues.
We are very encouraged to see that as we enter the 2020’s sustainability is front and centre . We have worked within this professional field for many years, and are used to walking uphill, with headwind. Even if Novo Nordisk was an early mover and has been an exceptional front runner, we’ve often had to deal with perceptions of need to have versus nice to have; core business versus add on. Today, sustainability is core business and ‘sustainable business’ is a must-have. With that comes higher expectations, of the industry, our business and our work – and we are ready to take up those new challenges.
All of this is good news for patients we serve. As we speak, new partnerships, programmes and actions are happening, aiming at removing barriers to good healthcare and well-being for people across the globe. We see signs that the conventional pharma business model will evolve. There will be more focus on true breakthrough innovative medicines, but even more so on ensuring that medicines are affordable and accessible to people regardless the circumstances of their lives. We note that our competitors are following this way of thinking, and we hope the industry will begin to compete on ‘expanding the pie’, so that ultimately all people can live in good health, with access to care when they need it.
There will be a growing demand for those who are able to translate insights from what is happening in society into business opportunities. To do so, you need to have a good understanding of the dynamics in society, and equally understand the business. For us, the imminent task is to work with colleagues across our global organisation to define what it takes to be a truly sustainable business, and to drive actions that will take us there. We know from experience that this kind of work is incredibly motivating because it is meaningful and value-adding – for the business and for the individual.
Chief Sustainability Advisor
Project Vice President, GLP-1, CV and Outcomes
This year, my aim is to inspire as many people as possible to be free of prejudism and anxiety for what is different. I wish to encourage people to embrace their fears and try something new – Be curious in life – try a digital free weekend or hire a person with a disability.
I would like to see a much more diverse picture and a mindset focusing on what people can bring to the table instead of their shortcomings. In my experience, people with a disability are not used to having easy solutions in their daily lives, so they tend to have a more more open, creative and innovative mindset and a positive attitude toward even little things – we can learn from that.
We're heading into a much more competitive and digital world, which will require all the different minds we can get, to create competitive advantage.
Novo Nordisk is changing and so is the world around us. Faster than we can imagine. If you want to make a difference for people in need of different treatment options, if you thrive on change, if you want to leave your mark on something new and exciting - new ways to generate drugs, new ways to treat patients, utilising digitalisation and personalised medicines and much more – now is the time to join Novo Nordisk. I am very much looking forward to the journey ahead and the many new exciting things to come in 2020 and beyond.
I would like to continue running both the student job program and mentor program for refugees. Both programmes are a huge success, both for Novo Nordisk and the refugee. Overall, the purpose is to bring them closer to the Danish labour market and include them in a Danish workplace culture.
The student job program is also a way to attract highly skilled people - and because of their different backgrounds - the diversity makes them attractive for Novo Nordisk. For the departments at Novo Nordisk, it is great to see the commitment and how they are making a difference in a person's life. I am also running Project Opportunity, which is a program to include people with autism in the Danish Labour market - highly skilled and intelligent people that truly make a difference is a win-win situation.
I hope that social responsibility will continue to get more focus - both inside and outside of Novo Nordisk. I hope the programmes will create more external awareness, so that more companies will go the same way and that other Novo Nordisk sites might also begin in running the programmes. We have a proven and solid model for the programmes that could be implemented in other countries, where Novo Nordisk is present.
HR Consultant, People Care & Benefits
Anne Bugge Gerhart-Hines
Specialist, Liver Disease Research
My personal resolution for 2020 is to approach Non-Alcoholic SteatoHepatitis (NASH) target discovery from several new angles. We are fortunate that a growing number of patients have donated liver and blood samples for our research, which allows us to immediately assess the human disease relevance of new hypotheses on what are the key drivers of the development of NASH.
2020 is a very important year for the pharmaceutical companies committed to finding a cure for NASH because several major clinical trials are scheduled to report their results later this year. We hope to see positive effects of the tested treatment strategies because that would indicate that our industry has identified several of the right biologic pathways to target. With the extent of research and clinical testing ongoing in the NASH space, hopefully it will only be a short time before the first wave of treatment options are made available to people living with NASH. We expect the learnings from these frontrunners will enable the development of highly needed diagnostic biomarkers and allow us to refine the next generation of targets and compounds in order to further increase the treatment efficacy.
The NASH therapy area is still very much operating at a scientific and pharma industry frontier, so there is amble opportunity to help shape our research and treatment strategy. I find that the prospect of contributing to the development of a cure for a currently untreatable disease to be very motivating, as I’m sure all industry scientist do.
Tina Bjeldskov Pedersen
Director, Oral Formulation Research
I would like to see many more new oral projects in our pipeline, as this delivery approach is preferred by our patients. In order to fuel this effort, we are currently expanding the oral formulation research team and aspire to attract the best qualified scientists around the globe.
By joining us, you will be part of doing ground-breaking research and developing break-through products, based on orally available peptides and proteins. Oral delivery can facilitate better treatment outcomes for our patients by offering more treatment options and supporting earlier initiation of effective treatment.
Martijn van de Bunt
Director, Bioinformatics & Data Mining
I would like to see data
science and coding skills becoming an integral part of educational
programs - just as common as learning to read. To make the most of
our data long term, we need to get as many different minds and
viewpoints on the challenges facing our industry –
interdisciplinarity being a standard skill for all.
Data science and bioinformatics will become a pivotal component of drug discovery, leading to better medicine that can be brought to patients faster. Joining now allows you to play an important role in building up this area, which is one of the key priorities of our R&D organisation.
My 2020 resolution is to convince everyone of the life-changing impact that digital solutions can bring to people managing a chronic disease – not only making everyday life a bit easier but also helping people achieve better health.
In ten years, can you imagine doctors and patients staring at crumpled pieces of paper, guessing about how much medicine was taken or even what was prescribed? In 20 years, will we all receive ‘generic’ advice on diet and health, or will technology help us finally know what is right for our bodies? The future is full of potential, and digital technologies will accelerate that in a very real way─from AI to simple Bluetooth.
What is certain? This is an exciting time!
We are running fast to keep pace with healthcare transformation – the rules change by the minute. In my department, we are making smart devices and apps to help make life a bit easier for people living with chronic diseases. Others are working with significant opportunities and challenges, from new digitalized R&D processes, to challenging global healthcare-systems, and working to lower the rate of diabetes and obesity in the first place.
Global Communication Lead, Commercial Innovation
P&O Business Partner, Tianjin, China
I would like to incorporate more learning in our workplace – firstly for myself, I would like to learn more about the whole value chain, attaining the full picture of how Novo Nordisk creates value for our patients. Secondly - for the team and company - I would like to support cultivating a learning culture, by facilitating cross-area development and introducing more innovative training opportunities. I would like to see developments toward transparent sharing and co-creation. I would like to see us sharing ideas and efforts to contribute to the shared vision.
In 2020, my site will be facing a lot of challenges - lots of “mission impossible” need to be achieved, but I believe in the site. I can see we are strong in team collaboration, in ownership and in continuous improvement. In 2020 we can unleash the huge potential of the organization.
My goal for year 2020 is to make sure there are no barriers between diabetes patients and the medical treatment they need. It’s not easy when it comes to diabetes. There are lots of barriers that we must deal with: difficulties with government procurement, lack of diabetes awareness among the public and even cultural obstacles.
I would like to see broader cross-functional partnerships to bend the curve of diabetes and obesity all over the world. I hope to see more public organizations, governments, businesses, sports and culture representatives coming together to take action and find solutions for healthier future.
With more than 38 million people diagnosed with diabetes in last 2 years, the future looks challenging -not only for society and government - but also for us as pharmaceutical manufacturers. To secure access to essential medicines for all patients, we need to think ahead and provide not only medicine access but also access to prevention programs.
It’s challenging and exiting time to join patient access team in Novo Nordisk. Our environment requires innovative and bold decisions to hold the leading position. It’s great to have a team and management group open to innovation by your side!
Public Affairs Manager, Moscow, Russia
Multichannel Customer Engagement Project Manager,
It's an interesting time to join the GLP-1 & Obesity business, as we've reached a time in the field where we must think different, act different and bring novelty to the industry, allowing us to potentially create new rules.
I dream of a 2020 where we can continue improving lives with our therapies, through using multiple channels and trying new ways of doing business so that patients have full access to what we offer.
Diabetes Medical Advisor,
Today, we tend to operate in an instant. We’re connected via our
networks, connected to our smartphones. We are used to knowing
everything and getting everything right away, thanks to
With the rates of diabetes and obesity increasing continuously, it’s easy to see that technology has a place in helping people manage their chronic diseases. For this reason, I would like to see more technology enter my daily work.