Some people cannot collect a prescription because they can’t afford a long journey. Others cannot take time off work and face loss of wages. In extreme situations, there is simply no doctor to see, no healthcare clinic to visit, or no available medicine in the pharmacy.

The unfortunate reality is that only a fraction of patients with these diseases receive treatment today. We need to close that gap and help people gain affordable access to the medicines we manufacture and the care they need. 

The barriers are complex and differ from country to country, but we know from experience that change is possible.

Our ambition is to offer access to our available medicines to the greatest number of people living with diabetes, rare blood diseases and rare endocrine disorders, while addressing varying levels of affordability. 

We place extra focus on people living with diabetes in low-and middle-income countries. We have established affordability and access programmes to help patients in need in over two-thirds of the countries in which we operate.

Read on to learn more about our commitment to affordable treatment and access to diabetes care. 

With our Defeat Diabetes strategy, we lower the ceiling price for low- and middle-income countries. At the same time we work to expand affordability programmes in the US and elsewhere in the world.

In 2001, we launched a new policy to lower the cost of human insulin in the countries with the least resources. Today, our policy covers selected humanitarian organisations and a total of 77 countries, home to a third of the world’s diabetes population.

Our commitment builds on the following principles:

  • We will continue to be the leading supplier of low-priced human insulin in the world.
  • We guarantee to provide low-priced human insulin in the poorest parts of the world for many years to come, including in:
    •  Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as defined by the UN, 
    • other low-income countries as defined by the World Bank 
    • middle-income countries where large low-income populations lack sufficient health coverage, 
    • as well as selected humanitarian organisations where the commitment is global.
  • We will guarantee a ceiling price of human insulin at USD 3 per vial.
  • We will address challenges in insulin distribution and healthcare capacity that often prevent low-cost insulin from reaching the most vulnerable people.

Part of Novo Nordisk’s contribution to promoting access to care is our ongoing long-term financial commitment to the World Diabetes Foundation. 

The World Diabetes Foundation was established by Novo Nordisk in 2002. It is an independent trust dedicated to the prevention and treatment of diabetes in developing countries. The Foundation supports sustainable partnerships and acts as a catalyst to help others do more.

Our current commitment to the Foundation is DKK 1.69 billion (USD 277 million) covering the period up to 2024.

Learn more about the World Diabetes Foundation

Insulin is a lifesaving but delicate molecule. Many insulin products are temperature sensitive and lose effectiveness over time or when exposed to too high or low temperatures1,2.

We sought to address this barrier by re-evaluating the thermal stability of our short-acting and intermediate-acting human insulin products.

Both products are widely used in low- and middle-income countries. They are also used in humanitarian settings, where revised storage guidance could reduce the burden of diabetes management and improve the lives of people with diabetes.

Improving access to insulin is a fundamental pillar of our Defeat Diabetes strategy. By definitively proving the thermostability of these products we hope to address a barrier faced by many vulnerable people with diabetes living in challenging settings.

Only limited public health data exists on children with type 1 diabetes. However, the unbearable truth is, that  in many of the world’s poorest countries, only few live long enough to make it into the registries.

In 369 clinics across 26 countries, our Changing Diabetes® in Children programme ensures care and life-saving insulin for children with type 1 diabetes. Today, the programme is providing medical care, insulin and supplies to more than 42,000 children. Our next ambition is to expand the programme to reach 100,000 by 2030.

In the video above, you’ll meet Bilguissa, a type 1 superstar from Guinea. Bilguissa is part of a new generation of children and young adults living with type 1 diabetes in Guinea. With the support of doctors and nurses at the Changing Diabetes® in Children clinic, today she is a community leader full of hope. She successfully manages her own diabetes while guiding and inspiring her younger peers.

In some countries, people living with haemophilia may be unable to store their haemophilia medication at home. During the COVID-19 crisis, many patients were then unable to visit hospitals to seek treatment. 

When people living with a rare blood disease face these situations, we work with local health authorities and partner organisations to provide financial support for medicine and treatment home delivery. 

To ensure clear and transparent relationships, our initiatives are designed in dialogue with policy makers, for support services related to patient training, delivery and medicine storage.

Learn more about our foundation helping people living with haemophilia get access to care

The Novo Nordisk Haemophilia Foundation is a grant-making, non-profit organisation that strives to improve access to care for people with haemophilia and rare bleeding disorders in developing and emerging countries.

Haemophilia is a hereditary bleeding disorder affecting one in 10,000 people. With three out of four people with haemophilia living in the developing world, there is urgent need to ensure they have access to diagnosis and adequate care.

Learn more about the Novo Nordisk Haemophilia Foundation

 Huus K, Havelund S, Olsen HB, van de Weert M, Frokjaer S. Chemical and Thermal Stability of Insulin: Effects of Zinc and Ligand Binding to the Insulin Zinc-Hexamer. Pharmaceutical research. 2006;23(11):2611-2620.

Brange J, Andersen L, Laursen ED, Meyn G, Rasmussen E. Toward understanding insulin fibrillation. Journal of pharmaceutical sciences. 1997;86(5):517-525.