Bioethics governance

Novo Nordisk faces a number of complex bioethical issues which are addressed throughout the company via integration in standard procedures, processes and decision-making. Furthermore, a virtual cross-functional team drives and proactively addresses arising bioethical dilemmas. 

The Bioethics Policy sets out our general operational guidelines. This is consistent with our objective: to strive to be economically viable, socially responsible, and environmentally sound (The Triple Bottom Line) by considering each of these elements when making business decisions.

A team (a virtual cross-functional set-up) prepares and suggests new initiatives, develops and implements new positions and guidelines, and supervises the company's handling of evolving bioethical issues worldwide.

Bioethics policy

In Novo Nordisk we will discover, develop and produce biological medicines with respect for people, animals and the environment.

This means that we will:

  • Continuously improve our performance
  • Promote bioethical awareness in Novo Nordisk
  • Operate by high ethical global standards in research involving people, animals, human materials and gene technology
  • Require adherence to high ethical standards by our external partners, contract research organisations and suppliers, and monitor their performance
  • Engage in stakeholder dialogue and partnerships helping us to deal with ethical dilemmas
  • Act in accordance with international conventions.

Global standards

Ethical issues are universal and have no borders. We, therefore, have global standards and have global requirements on our business partners and suppliers. We also require external contractors performing research on behalf of Novo Nordisk to comply with the same standards that apply across our own organisation when performing research.

To ensure global and high ethical standards we assess our contractors prior to partnering, and we monitor, audit, and educate them if needed. We have developed working processes and various documents such as standard operational procedures (SOPs), positions, guiding principles and guidelines which must always be adhered to, no matter where in the world we and our external contractors operate.

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Animals in pharmaceutical research and development brochure


Animals in pharmaceutical research and development

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A responsible approach to clinical trials brochure


A responsible approach to clinical trials

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Gene technology in medicine development and production brochure


Gene technology in medicine development and production

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Human Biosamples in Pharmaceutical Research


Human biosamples in pharmaceutical research

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