For the last century, our company has been consistent in its overall
mission to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic
diseases. Today, the tools at our disposal are broader and more
powerful than they were 100 years ago, when insulin had just been
discovered. Yet the need for further innovation to realise our goal
has never been greater, not least given the rise of obesity as one of
the world’s foremost healthcare challenges.
At a time of societal debate about purpose versus profit, Novo
Nordisk shows how the two can go hand-in-hand. The development of our
life-changing treatments creates financial rewards that are reinvested
in further research and development, a model that we will continue to
apply as we build a sustainable business for the decades to
Over the past year, we have seen continued strong growth across both
North America and International Operations and therapy areas. This was
driven by exceptional demand for our market-leading GLP-1 therapies.
In turn, this increase in demand led to further market share expansion
for key products in both diabetes and obesity.
At the same time, however, we have experienced pressures and
challenges from an increasingly difficult macroeconomic and
geopolitical environment, including the impact of war in Ukraine,
rising tensions in global trade and the continuing fallout from
Combined with higher than expected demand, temporary capacity
limitations at some of our manufacturing sites have resulted in
shortages of certain products, including Wegovy® for
obesity and Ozempic® for type 2 diabetes.
Meeting patient demand is a top priority and we have invested around
DKK 12.7 billion in 2022 alone to expand capacity while operating our
global manufacturing facilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Like many other large companies, we are restructuring our supply
chains to increase resilience in a volatile world.
It is clear that economic challenges and the growing burden of
chronic, non-communicable diseases will place increasing pressure on
healthcare systems in the years ahead, requiring us to remain
laser-focused on our purpose and strategy.
Progress on pipeline projects such as our once-weekly insulin icodec
and the novel combination drug candidate CagriSema, for both obesity
and diabetes, reflects our determination to break new ground. We are
also addressing broader areas of unmet medical need by expanding our
commitment to rare blood and endocrine disease and researching novel
This will involve continued investment in our company’s deep
in-house expertise, coupled with sourcing the best science from
outside, through partnerships and business development. The
acquisition of Forma Therapeutics in 2022, a specialist in rare blood
disorders, is a good example of this targeted approach.
Our teams are also increasingly applying novel technologies to
improve the delivery of products, including the use of smart devices
and digital tools to guide and optimise therapy.
Innovation is equally central in addressing the environmental and
social challenges that rightly feature so highly in modern society’s
expectations of businesses. The challenge we face is significant since
Novo Nordisk has an unusually high growth rate for a company of its
size, necessitating increased manufacturing and higher product
However, in 2020, we were able to switch our global production
network to sourcing 100% renewable power and we will continue to
challenge ourselves in order to achieve net-zero emissions across our
entire value chain by 2045. We will also continue to innovate to
minimise the use of plastic derived from fossil fuels in our pen
devices, whether through recycling or the use of novel
Globally, we are serving a record of almost 40 million patients.
However, there are still many people who struggle to access our
life-changing products, even though more than 5 million are reached
through our access and affordability initiatives. Innovation has a
role to play here as well. Our heat-stable insulins, for example, will
help to improve access in low- and middle-income countries since they
can be kept outside refrigeration for up to four weeks.
Our priority for the next 10 years is to advance scientific
understanding and treatment options in our core therapy areas, while
diversifying our pipeline into adjacent fields such as cardiovascular
disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and rare blood
disorders. This means looking beyond the success of products based on
our leading GLP-1 molecule semaglutide and adopting new
Innovation itself depends on the creativity of our colleagues, which
we will continue to nurture by making Novo Nordisk a truly inclusive
and diverse workplace. This will empower employees to use all their
capabilities while attracting the best talent to come and work with
Diversity is just as important in the boardroom as in our wider
organisation, so we will continue to focus on having a Board of
Directors with the right expertise and perspective to guide us through
a period of rapid change. We are delighted by the election of
Christina Law, whose deep experience in leadership positions in
consumer-driven companies across Asia and beyond is and will be
The collaboration between the Board of Directors and Executive
Management continues to be both trusting and transparent. The
relationship grew further during a year in which we were able to
increasingly meet each other in person and engage with Novo Nordisk
colleagues applying themselves tirelessly to delivering tomorrow’s
We would like to thank all our colleagues around the world for their
dedication and hard work during a challenging year, as well as our
shareholders for their continued support.
Chair of the Board of Directors
Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen
President and CEO