With approximately 537 million adults in the world living with diabetes – a figure that is projected to rise to 783 million by 2045 if no action is taken. Diabetes places a great burden on health systems, and we are committed to working with health authorities and other partners to prevent and treat the disease.
The Novo Nordisk social responsibility strategy, Defeat Diabetes, includes long-term ambitions to accelerate prevention to halt the rise of diabetes, provide access to affordable care for vulnerable patients in every country and to continue to drive innovation to improve lives.
Affordability of medicines is a global challenge and we know that some people in the USA living with diabetes are increasingly finding it hard to pay for their healthcare, including our diabetes medicines. Ensuring access and affordability is a responsibility we share with all involved in healthcare.
For information additional information about our approach to access & affordability, click here.
For information about how we work with prevention of chronic diseases, click here.
The estimated number of full-year patients reached with Novo Nordisk's Diabetes care products increased from 34.6 million in 2021 to 36.3 million in 2022.. The 5% increase was primarily driven by growth in the GLP-1 franchise, which increased by 2.4 million patients, followed by the new-generation insulin franchise, which grew by 0.8 million patients.
In 2022, the estimated number of patients with diabetes reached with Novo Nordisk's human insulin vials through the Access to Insulin Commitment was 1.8 million, compared to 1.7 million in 2021. Novo Nordisk also sold human insulin vials below the ceiling price of USD 3 in countries outside the commitment, reaching an estimated additional 2.5 million patients in 2022. This represents a total of 4.3 million patients with diabetes reached with human insulin in vials below USD 3 per vial globally. In addition to offering insulin at a low price, supply chain improvements and capacity building are also important levers in ensuring access to affordable care for vulnerable patients.
For the latest reporting on patients reached with diabetes care products, please refer to the quarterly company announcements in the section Financial results and events.
Type 1 diabetes (often referred to as childhood diabetes) is a lifelong, autoimmune condition which impairs the body’s ability to produce insulin. If left undiagnosed or untreated, excess glucose causes damage to organs which can result in severe health complications and, ultimately, in premature death. There is currently no prevention or cure and the only effective long-term treatment is multiple, daily injections of insulin.
Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic childhood illnesses. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that globally, more than 1.2 million young people under 20 years have type 1 diabetes and approximately 184,100 new cases are diagnosed each year. However, in low-resource settings, children with type 1 diabetes are often misdiagnosed or lack access to adequate healthcare services to manage their condition.
Changing Diabetes® in Children was established in 2009 as a public-private partnership to bridge these critical gaps in care. The partnership provides comprehensive diabetes care for children and youth living with type 1 in low- and middle-income countries. This includes free life-saving insulin and other medical supplies for persons up to 25 years of age.
Our ambition is clear: no child should die of diabetes. To learn more about Changing Diabetes® in Children, click here.
As part of Novo Nordisk’s Defeat Diabetes social responsibility strategy, Changing Diabetes® in Children aims to reach 100,000 vulnerable children and young people living with type 1 diabetes by 2030.
Through the Changing Diabetes® in Children programme, 41,033 vulnerable children were reached by the end of 2022, compared to 31,846 in 2021. More than half of the 9,187 newly enrolled children were reached through expansion of the programme in Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya and Uganda.
For the latest reporting on Children reached through Changing Diabetes® in Children, please refer to the quarterly company announcements in the section Financial results and events.
We provide a safe workplace that promotes both mental and physical health, and overall well-being. Our company culture also plays a strong role in ensuring a diverse, fair and inclusive working environment. Together, this is what determines our ability to attract and develop some of the best talent from all over the world.
Our responsibility to respect labour rights applies to our global operations as a global minimum standard of business conduct. We track labour rights performance for all our employees in the workplace and verify whether labour rights risks are being effectively addressed.
For more information, download our Novo Nordisk
Labour code of conduct (PDF)
We employ people in 80 countries globally. Since 2014, we have been a part of the living wage programme with an external global non-profit business network and consultancy. The objective is to ensure that all our employees are paid a living wage, i.e., adequate to purchase basic goods and services necessary to achieve a basic standard of living, based on calculations of living wages in the countries we operate in.
The number of employees increased in most areas, with the highest growth in EMEA, notably in Product Supply, Quality & IT, and North America Operations. The employee turnover rate decreased from 11.0% in 2021 to 8.2% in 2022. The highest decline in turnover incurred in China and the US.
A global employee survey called "Evolve" supports Novo Nordisk’s ambition to be a sustainable employer, underpinning the broader sustainable business agenda.
The Evolve Index is comprised of 18 questions measuring working conditions that are critical to Novo Nordisk’s ambition of being a Sustainable Employer. The favourable score represents the proportion of employees responding with either a ‘4’ or ‘5’ on a 5-point scale, where ‘1’ represents ‘Strongly Disagree’ and ‘5’ represents ‘Strongly Agree.
The Evolve survey was repeated in 2022 with an additional question, meant to measure follow-throughs of the previous year’s survey results and an open text question on how to improve the equality of opportunity for a successful career at Novo Nordisk.
This year’s Evolve revealed an increase in the already high overall engagement, bringing it to 85% favourable compared to 84% favourable in 2021. Novo Nordisk continues to score in the top decile against external organisations when it comes to providing a purpose-driven workplace.
Improvements were seen on most questions, with a large improvement of 9 percentage points favourable on “Equal opportunities for a successful career”. Nevertheless, opportunities for improvement remain on equality of career opportunities, clearer performance evaluations and, in particular, improving follow-throughs of survey results.
We employ more than 50,000 people worldwide, all of which we have a clear commitment to provide a healthy and safe working environment for. Supporting safety, physical health and mental well-being is fundamental to personal and professional growth.
We offer a healthy and engaging workplace, supported by a comprehensive Health and Safety programme. To this end, we have implemented our Health and Safety management system across our entire global organisation to ensure such conditions for all employees and contractors.
Corporate policy and governance
Our corporate values, the Novo Nordisk Way, with Essential no. 8 “We have a healthy and engaging working environment”, state clearly that health and safety is a key priority. Our global health and safety policy is based on our focus on prevention and continual improvement.
We strive to uphold a safe working environment and promote the health of our people.
This means that we:
The health and safety policy is governed and implemented through our global health and safety management system, which is described in a global procedure. The management system defines that health and safety of our employees is a managerial responsibility. The procedure contains specific health and safety requirements regarding e.g., risk assessments and emergency procedures and preparedness. The global procedure is supported by local instructions and dedicated training of all managers and health and safety staff as well as basic training of all employees in research, development and production. All production facilities have health and safety certifications according to ISO45001 and are audited regularly both internally and externally.
Every year, an organisational bottom-up management review is conducted with the Novo Nordisk Executive Management team as the governing body.
Our health and safety strategy sets a clear direction to make continuous improvements. Through our global partnering approach, all business areas commit to specific targets and initiatives for identified health and safety challenges. The strategy is implemented in a partnering approach, with all business areas and aims to involve, inspire, and enable managers and employees to make sure that our people leave work every day as mentally healthy and physically fit as when they arrived. We want everyone in Novo Nordisk to act on the safety, physical and mental health and well-being of themselves and their colleagues.
The health and safety strategy drives improvements on our three focus areas and targets for safety, mental health and well-being and ergonomics, illustrated in the list below.
We continuously improve our safety culture and reduce the frequency of work accidents.
Novo Nordisk target: 10% annual improvement of accidents with absence per million work hours.
2. MENTAL WELL-BEING
We address well-being proactively and the share of employees reporting stress symptoms is continuously reduced.
EVP area target: 10% annual improvement of employees reporting stress symptoms.
3. PHYSICAL WELL-BEING
We continuously improve workplace ergonomics to increase physical well-being and reduce pain.
EVP area target: 5% annual improvement of employees reporting work-related pain.
Employee health promotion
Our global employee health promotion programme enables employees to act on their health by providing a framework for integrating health promotion into the workday, no matter if they work in a physically demanding or a sedentary work environment.
The programme is adapted locally by novohealth ambassadors, and its content is co-created by employees across the organisation.
The employee health promotion programme offers activities, and encourages employees to act on their own health, within six pillars:
1. Physical activity
All employees are encouraged to be physically active.
Goal: all employees have opportunities to exercise.
2. Healthy eating
All employees are encouraged to have a balanced diet.
Goal: all employees have information and access to healthy food, so the healthy choice is the easy choice.
3. Individual mental well-being
All employees are encouraged to pay attention to their mental health.
Goal: all employees can access knowledge and tools to act on their mental well-being.
4. Health checks
All employees are encouraged to care for their health.
Goal: all employees have access to free health checks and guidance on how to act on their health.
5. Smoke free
Employees that smoke are encouraged to become smoke free.
Goal: all employees have access to help to stop smoking
6. Weight management
Employees at risk are encouraged to start and sustain healthy weight.
Goal: employees have access to weight management programmes and obesity prevention.
Below are some of the good health and safety practices and actions Novo Nordisk has taken globally:
We maintain workplace health promotion addressing physical and mental health and well-being by offering our novohealth programme.
In 2022, Novo Nordisk had 128 accidents with absence (99 in 2021). This increase was partly due to an increase in the number of employees. The average lost time injury frequency rate was 1.5 in 2022 (1.3 in 2021).
Sadly, Novo Nordisk had two work-related fatalities compared to zero in 2021. Two employees of Novo Nordisk on a business trip, travelling with a driver, had a car accident resulting in all three passengers being killed immediately. Novo Nordisk will continue to train and motivate employees and contractors on good road safety behaviour to reduce the risk of recurrences.
Novo Nordisk is currently implementing a new global incident reporting system to ensure standardised reporting, and will continue ongoing preventive health and safety activities, such as focusing on high-risk incidents and ergonomic programmes.
The focus area of mental health well-being is measured, in the annual global employee engagement survey, calculating the percentage of employees reporting symptoms of stress. Stress is defined by a situation where the employee may feel tense, restless, nervous or troubled, or unable to sleep at night because of the continuous thoughts of problems.
In 2022, 13.8% of Novo Nordisk employees reported symptoms of stress, a reduction from 15.9% in 2021.
The focus area of physical well-being is also measured in the annual global employee engagement survey, calculating the percentage of employees reporting work-related physical pain.
In 2022, 7.8% of Novo Nordisk employees reported symptoms of stress, a reduction from 8.1% in 2021.
Being a sustainable employer offering an inclusive and diverse working environment is an integrated part of being a sustainable business.
To underline Novo Nordisk’s commitment, accelerate progress and ensure leadership accountability, Novo Nordisk has defined the following global aspirational targets:
Balanced is defined as the range between 45%-55% to leave up to 10% flexibility for women and men and also allow for non-binary gender recognising that some employees may not wish to be categorised.
While gender is one dimension of diversity, Novo Nordisk fully recognises that diversity is any dimension that differentiates people and enables a diverse line of thought.
Since we launched the D&I Aspirational Targets at the end of the second quarter of 2021 (Q2 2021) we can see the following progress:
The gender diversity in leadership positions overall at Novo Nordisk meets the Danish gender diversity requirements. Gender diversity in leadership positions increased from 43% in 2021 to 44% in 2022. Within senior leadership positions, there was an increase from 36% in 2021 to 39% in 2022. Among employees as a whole, the gender split was 49% women and 51% men in 2022.
All management teams, from entry level upwards, are encouraged to focus on enhanced diversity, with the aim of ensuring a robust pipeline of talent for leadership positions. In 2021, Novo Nordisk introduced a global aspirational target of achieving a balanced gender representation across all managerial levels with a minimum of 45% for both women and men in senior leadership positions by the end of 2025.
As of 31 December 2022, three shareholder-elected Board members were women and six were men. The 2024 target of having at least three shareholder-elected Board members of each gender was thus met; however, the Board considers that diversity in the broadest sense of the word remains a focus area, including in Board member searches. Further information about the Board members is disclosed in the Corporate Governance Report.
For the latest reporting on gender diversity, please refer to the quarterly company announcements in the section Financial results and events.
Novo Nordisk has a long history of making products accessible and affordable through responsible pricing practices and industry-leading patient access programmes
In 2022, the average net price of both the US product portfolio and the US insulin portfolio decreased by 10.5% and 19.5%, respectively, compared to 12.3% and 10.9% in 2021, as a result of enhancements to secure formulary access for insured patients as well as the evolution of channel and payer mix. Novo Nordisk has provided sales discounts and rebates amounting to 75% of US gross sales in 2022, which is in line with 2021.
This resulted in the average annual list price across the US product portfolio increasing by 2.4% compared to 1.6% in 2021. The average list price across the US insulin portfolio remained consistent with 2021.
Our overall guiding principle within taxation is to have a 'sustainable tax approach', emphasising our business anchored approach to managing the impact of taxes while remaining true to the Novo Nordisk values of operating our business in a responsible and transparent manner. This means that we pay tax where value is generated and always respect international and domestic tax rules.
As a global business, we conduct cross-border trading, which is subject to transfer pricing regulations. We apply a 'Principal structure' in line with OECD principles, meaning all legal entities perform their functions under contract on behalf of the principals and are allocated an activity-based profit according to a benchmarked profit margin. The tax outcome of this operational model is reflected in the overview above, which shows our corporate income taxes by region. To ensure alignment between taxing authorities about the allocation of profit between our entities, we have Advance Pricing Agreements in place for geographies representing around 65% of our revenue worldwide.
Our tax policy has been approved by the Board of Directors. Read more about our Tax Policy here.
The total tax contribution in 2022 amounted to DKK 36,003 million split across 55% of taxes borne and 45% of taxes collected. In 2021, the split was 57% of taxes borne and 43% of taxes collected.
In 2021, the corporate income tax was unusually high as additional corporate income tax had been paid in Denmark both relating to the prior year and prepayment for 2021. The prepayment exceeded the actual payable tax and was partially refunded in 2022. Furthermore, the profit before tax has increased for 2022, resulting in an overall increase in corporate income taxes paid.
The overall increase in total tax contribution from 2021 to 2022 is primarily related to an increase in employment taxes primarily due to the hiring of new employees globally, as production and sales have been increasing.
Novo Nordisk makes annual donations to the World Diabetes Foundation
(WDF), an independent trust, supports sustainable partnerships and
acts as a catalyst to help others do more, and the Novo Nordisk
Haemophilia Foundation (NNHF).
The WDF, an independent trust, supports sustainable partnerships and acts as a catalyst to help others do more. The amount granted to WDF has increased from DKK 92 million in 2021 to DKK 93 million in 2022. The amount granted to WDF covers the amount approved during Novo Nordisk's Annual General Meeting in 2014 for annual contributions and also includes a donation to WDF China. For more information, visit worlddiabetesfoundation.org.
The NNHF supports programmes in low- and middle-income countries. Initiatives focus on capacity-building, diagnosis and registry, awareness and advocacy. The payment of the agreed donation to the NNHF for the year 2021 was made in 2022, amounting to DKK 20 million. Additionally, in 2022, Novo Nordisk agreed to a donation of DKK 25 million but only DKK 13 million were paid out due to financial considerations from NNHF. Since 2005, the NNHF has provided funding for 296 programmes in 85 countries. See nnhf.org for additional information.
We are committed to meeting our responsibility to respect human rights as defined by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. That means we recognise our responsibility to respect all internationally recognised human rights across our own activities and business relationships.
Read Novo Nordisk Human Rights Commitment and Novo Nordisk Human Rights Report.
We have translated our human rights commitment into actions, developing and continuously improving management systems, including:
Read more in our Novo Nordisk Human Rights Report.
Modern Slavery Statement
Read our latest and previous statements on the UK and Australia Modern Slavery Acts
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