Novo Nordisk launches new social responsibility strategy to defeat diabetes
With the strategy, Novo Nordisk’s long-term ambition is to provide access to affordable care to vulnerable patients in every country and accelerate prevention to halt the rise of diabetes.
Copenhagen, Denmark, 27 May 2020 – At a time of acute global health need, Novo Nordisk today announced the launch of a new social responsibility strategy: ‘Defeat Diabetes’. The strategy strengthens Novo Nordisk’s commitment and introduces new long-term ambitions to provide access to affordable diabetes care to vulnerable patients in every country and to ensure that no child should die from type 1 diabetes.
Today, one in every 11 people in the world has diabetes, a figure that is projected to rise to one in nine by 2045 if action is not taken. Diabetes places a great burden on health systems, and Novo Nordisk is committed to work with health authorities and other partners in the countries where it operates, to prevent and treat the disease.
“Our purpose to defeat diabetes is necessary now more than ever as diabetes continues to rise, and at a time when the world is suffering from the most devastating pandemic in recent times,” said Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, CEO of Novo Nordisk. “In addition to innovative medicine, we are committed to help societies defeat diabetes by accelerating prevention to halt the rise of the disease and providing access to affordable care to vulnerable patients in every country. Vulnerability has many faces, and diabetes hits the hardest in vulnerable communities. I am proud that we are stepping up our efforts and working in partnerships to tackle the diabetes crisis at a time of profound need.”
As a first step in our ambition to provide access to affordable insulin to vulnerable patients in every country, Novo Nordisk is reducing the ceiling price of human insulin from USD 4 to USD 3 per vial in 76 low- and middle-income countries, which are part of the company’s existing Access to Insulin Commitment. This applies to Least Developed Countries as defined by the UN, other low-income countries as defined by the World Bank and middle-income countries where large low-income populations lack sufficient health coverage.
To support the company’s aspiration that no child should die from type 1 diabetes, Novo Nordisk is expanding its Changing Diabetes in Children programme to reach 100,000 children by 2030, up from 25,000. The programme provides care and life-saving medicine for children with type 1 diabetes in low-resource settings.
Vice-President of the International Diabetes Federation and partner of the Changing Diabetes in Children initiative Dr Naby Balde states the urgency of action: “Diabetes is rising in every part of the world and good health is not an equal opportunity. The lives of thousands of children living with type 1 diabetes in vulnerable communities have been saved by the Changing Diabetes in Children initiative. I welcome Novo Nordisk’s efforts to vastly expand its reach and their broader efforts to defeat diabetes.”
As part of Defeat Diabetes, the company’s Partnering for Change programme with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Danish Red Cross, supporting care for people with serious chronic diseases in humanitarian crises, is also being extended. The partnership is supporting the integration of diabetes and hypertension care into the Red Cross’s global health operations.
Initiatives under Novo Nordisk’s Defeat Diabetes strategy are:
- Expanding the Changing Diabetes in Children (CDiC) programme: it is estimated that more than 100,000 children living with type 1 diabetes in low-resource settings cannot access care1. To date, Novo Nordisk has helped more than 25,000 children through CDiC. Now, we are setting ourselves the challenge of reaching 100,000 children by 2030, working in partnerships across low-resource countries. The ambition is clear: no child should die from type 1 diabetes.
- As part of the existing Access to Insulin Commitment, Novo Nordisk is reducing the ceiling price of human insulin from USD 4 to USD 3 per vial in 76 low- and middle-income countries. This applies to Least Developed Countries as defined by the UN, other low-income countries as defined by the World Bank and middle-income countries where large low-income populations lack sufficient health coverage. We will furthermore address challenges in distribution and healthcare capacity that often prevent low-cost insulin from reaching the most vulnerable people.
- Extending our Partnering for Change programme with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Danish Red Cross to improve chronic care for people in humanitarian crises. To support the most vulnerable patient groups, we are continuing our partnership with our Red Cross partners in 2021-2023. The aim of the partnership is to ensure the integration of diabetes and hypertension care into their global health operations. We are supporting with a donation of DKK 15 million.
- Expanded patient support options in the US. People with diabetes using Novo Nordisk insulin who have lost health insurance coverage because of a change in job status due to COVID-19 may be eligible for a free 90-day supply of insulin through Novo Nordisk’s Diabetes Patient Assistance Program.
- Supporting frontline humanitarian actors during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are donating and shipping free insulins to our partner organisations providing humanitarian relief, such as UNICEF, UNRWA and our Red Cross partners, for six months. Our aim is to sustain the current level of insulin supplies at a time when humanitarian organisations are fighting COVID-19. We are also providing a monetary contribution towards the COVID-19 emergency appeal of our Red Cross partners. This support will contribute to eg training of healthcare providers, protective equipment, medical supplies, quarantine facilities and psychosocial support. The total value of the donation is more than DKK 20 million.
- Within prevention we are working in partnership with UNICEF to help prevent childhood overweight and obesity in Mexico and Colombia, addressing gaps in knowledge and supporting decision-makers to act.
- Collaborating with leaders from over 25 cities to tackle the rise of diabetes in urban environments through the Cities Changing Diabetes partnership programme. With nearly two-thirds of all people with diabetes living in urban areas, cities are an important focal point for tackling the problem.
Read more about the Defeat Diabetes initiatives here:
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1. Atkinson S, Sigfrid L, Eeles M, Atkinson Z, McKee M. From surviving to thriving: evaluation of the international diabetes federation—life for a child programme. London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; 2015. Accessed 12 Dec 2017.