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 was updated as of 2017. 


The commitment builds on four principles:

  1. 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-income countries and we are committed to pass on possible future gains in production efficiency to patients.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 on an annual basis. The ceiling price for 2018 is set at 4.00 USD/vial. The ceiling price applies unless price is determined by local agreements. 
  4. The product supplied under this guarantee will be human insulin in vials. As the human and economic conditions improve we will also aim to make more innovative treatment options available in the LDCs and other low income countries.



In 2017, Novo Nordisk sold human insulin according to the Access to Insulin Commitment in 30 of the world’s 50 poorest countries. In total, 0.3 million patients were treated with insulins sold at or below the ceiling price. The average realised price for insulin sold under the programme was 3.0 USD/vial, corresponding to 0.12 USD per patient per day.

Beyond this scheme, Novo Nordisk sold human insulin below the ceiling price in other countries, reaching an estimated 5 million patients in 2017 compared to an estimated 6.5 million patients in 2016. The number is affected by wins or losses of tenders.



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

Fact card: Access to Insulin Commitment

Position on access to diabetes care