Reaching the base of the pyramid

The Base of the Pyramid project is an initiative by Novo Nordisk to facilitate access to diabetes care for the working poor in low- and middle-income countries.

Around a third of the world’s population is lacking regular access to health care including essential medicines like insulin. This is especially an issue in low- and middle income countries which also is home to eighty percent of people living with diabetes today. However, diabetes as well as other non-communicable diseases continue to be under prioritised in development assistance for health (DAH). 

The Base of the Pyramid project targets the over one billion people globally with low incomes, the working poor, who have difficulties accessing health services. These people have some disposable income, are accessible and could contribute to financing their own treatment.

The purpose of the Base of the Pyramid project is to create shared value by developing scalable, sustainable and profitable solutions that increase access to diabetes care for the working poor living in low- and middle-income countries as well as provide value to the business of Novo Nordisk. 

The BoP project works to ensure:

  • Increased awareness of diabetes
  • Early diagnosis of diabetes
  • Access to quality care by trained health care professionals 
  • Stable and affordable supply of insulin
  • Improved self-management through patient education

The project was initiated in 2010

Geographical reach: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal

Partners: Primarily local health authorities and health care organisations

See programme overview & results (Aug 2016)


Improving access in Kenya

Four out of five people with diabetes live in low and middle income countries. In Kenya, the Base of the Pyramid project is identifying cross-sector collaboration to ensure good diabetes care for the thousands of people with diabetes in the country.

The diabetes epidemic is a global emergency in slow motion, where developing countries carry the biggest the burden. This film zooms in on challenges and progress made in Kenya to improve access to diabetes care.




Learn more

Impact report

Impact report by UCL on the Base of the Pyramid programme in Kenya.

Download the report (PDF)


Visit our video library for more films about the Base of the Pyramid projects.

To the video library

How to improve access
to NCD care

A public-private partnership has significantly improved supply of insulin in Kenya and established a price ceiling.

Feature article: How to improve access to NCD care