Access to Insulin Commitment

The majority of people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries.1 Access to reliable and affordable supplies of insulin is a challenge for many. In fact, it is estimated that 50 million people lack access to insulin worldwide.2

Novo Nordisk has addressed this challenge since we introduced our Differential Pricing Policy for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in 2001. Under this policy we offered human insulin in LDCs at a price that does not exceed 20% of the average realised price for Europe, the US, Canada and Japan. 

Our continued commitment to having a low-cost insulin in our product portfolio and to producing and making human insulin available for years to come, is formulated in our Access to Insulin Commitment which in 2016 was updated to include other low-income countries and selected humanitarian organisations. 

As of 2019, the guarantee is expanded to include 29 middle-income countries as defined by the World Bank. This means that a total of 78 countries, home of 124 million people with diabetes1, as well as selected humanitarian organisations, can benefit from this guarantee.


The commitment builds on the following principles:

  • It is our ambition to continue to be the leading supplier of low-priced human insulin in the world. We wish to provide affordable insulin treatment to significantly more patients in low- and middle-income countries and we are committed to passing on possible future gains in production efficiency to patients.
  • We guarantee that we will provide low-priced human insulin to ensure access to quality treatments for patients in the poorest parts of the world for many years to come. Our guarantee applies to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as defined by the UN and other low-income countries as defined by the World Bank, as well as selected organisations providing relief in humanitarian situations.
  • In addition, we will apply this ceiling price in selected middle-income countries where large low-income populations lack sufficient health coverage.
  • Our guarantee entails that we will provide the human insulin needed at a guaranteed ceiling price. The annual ceiling price will be decided by our Executive Management. The ceiling price for 2019 is set at 4.00 US dollars/vial. The ceiling price applies unless the price is determined by local agreements. The product supplied under this guarantee will be human insulin in vials.


In 2018, the average selling price was USD 2.89 per vial. As a result, an estimated 0.3 million people were treated with insulin for on average 12 cents per day. Beyond this commitment, Novo Nordisk sold human insulin at or below the ceiling price in other countries, reaching an estimated 5 million people in 2018. 



1. International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 8th edition, 2017

2. ACCISS.  Fact Sheet on Inequities and Inefficiencies in the global insulin market. Amsterdam: Health Action International; 2015. Retrieved from: September 2016


Learn more

Countries where the commitment applies

Position on access to diabetes care

Access to Insulin Commitment Fact Card