Driving change to improve access to diabetes care

Millions of people struggle to access the diabetes care they need. Either because they cannot afford to pay for services and medicines out-of-pocket or because it is simply not available. This can have devastating consequences for individuals, families and communities. In fact, diabetes is the only major non-communicable disease (NCD) for which the risk of dying early is going up rather than down1

The challenges are significant but solving them is not impossible. It takes collaboration and the knowledge and skills from many different organisations.

With the overall aim of closing the access to care gap for people in need, we are stepping up our company-wide efforts and work with external partners to address the many barriers that today inhibit sustainable access.
At Novo Nordisk, we have been working with different organisations and stakeholders for more than two decades to improve affordability for underserved populations, improve availability by enhancing supply chains, and improve the capacity to diagnose and manage diabetes. 

Novo Nordisk works towards affordable solutions in every country where we operate. In countries with limited or no reimbursement for insulin, we conduct local vulnerability assessments to identify vulnerable groups and who may face significant barriers in accessing diabetes care. These may be children with type 1 diabetes, the elderly with diabetes and limited insurance or groups affected by humanitarian crises. In partnership with local stakeholders, we work to formulate plans to address affordability of our products for these groups. By the end of 2021, we had conducted vulnerability assessments in 67 countries and developed action 27 action plans.

Changing Diabetes® in Children is led by four global partners: Novo Nordisk, Roche, the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) and the World Diabetes Foundation (WDF).

The partnership takes a sustainable approach and relies on local cooperation from ministries of health, implementing partners and academic institutions. Academic institutions are involved in developing evidence, sharing learnings and creating digital solutions for programme delivery  

Learn more about Changing Diabetes® in Children

Worldwide, close to a billion people live in fragile and conflict-affected situations.2 In addition to traditional emergency healthcare services, such as war surgery and care for infectious diseases, many people affected by humanitarian crises require access to care for chronic conditions like diabetes.

The Novo Nordisk Humanitarian Programme builds on Novo Nordisk's Access to Insulin Commitment, which guarantees the provision of low-priced human insulin to key humanitarian organisations and UN agencies serving humanitarian purposes.

We have also established a humanitarian support team within our Product Supply division. This team helps service humanitarian organisations and ensures that we can respond quickly and appropriately to the very specific needs of these organisations. 

Through the Partnering for Change programme, we work closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Danish Red Cross to tackle health issues in humanitarian crises.

The partnership aims to identify solutions to meet the growing need for chronic disease treatment for people forced to flee their homes and communities.

Partnering for Change helps all partners to move quickly in times of crisis - from assessing and reducing risk factors to providing care to people in need and raising awareness.

Learn more about Partnering for Change

iCARE (Capacity, Affordability, Reach and Empowerment) leverages our presence in Sub-Saharan Africa to implement an ambitious and holistic approach to improve treatment capacity, insulin affordability, geographic product reach and patient empowerment.

The iCARE approach means that the objective of reaching more people with diabetes is fully integrated into the way our business unit operates, covering 49 countries with an estimated 19 million people with diabetes.

iCARE has been implemented since 2021, and the first roll-out countries are Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana where we are collaborating with local partners on addressing gaps in access to diabetes care and insulin for the most vulnerable groups in those countries.

The Diabetes Compass seeks to enhance the quality of diabetes care in low- and middle-income countries by leveraging emerging digital solutions and focusing on improving early detection, clinical assessment, and initiation of care.

There is still a tremendous unmet need for professional training in detecting and managing diabetes. Under 'The Diabetes Compass', a scalable, digital HCP training programme is being developed. The project is being developed in partnership with the World Diabetes Foundation, Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen and the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The project offers digital support to healthcare professionals and people with diabetes in low- and middle-income countries to improve health outcomes. A 100 million DKK joint donation from Novo Nordisk and the Novo Nordisk Foundation funds the Compass.

Learn more about the Diabetes Compass


World Health Organization. New WHO Global Compact to speed up action to tackle diabetes. WHO. April, 2022. Accessed April, 2022. https://www.who.int/news/item/14-04-2021-new-who-global-compact-to-speed-up-action-to-tackle-diabetes


World Bank. Data: Population, total - Fragile and conflict affected situations. Accessed March, 2021. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL?locations=F1