Novo Nordisk at 90
Novo Nordisk at 90
03.14.13 | By Christian Clymer
Ninety years ago, Novo Nordisk began its journey to change diabetes and over the years also has turned to improve outcomes for other chronic conditions. Our story begins with a Nobel-winning physiologist, August Krogh, whose wife, Marie, was living with type 2 diabetes. Upon hearing of the discovery of insulin, Marie immediately saw the potential to change lives and convinced August to seek permission to produce this life-saving hormone in Denmark. So began a journey of continual innovation and dedication to the patient.
Since 1923, our company has sought to change diabetes through persistence, commitment and a philosophy that puts patients first. That gives us a unique perspective on insulin and diabetes. Our unique focus has driven us to produce multiple generations of insulin, each generation providing clinical advantages over the last. This dedication to research laid the foundation for Novo Nordisk to have the global reach and impact it has today.
Since the beginning, our commitment to fighting diabetes has been personal - and it still is. Many of our 30,000 passionate and highly-skilled employees all over the world have personal connections to the disease -including me. Having a son with type 1 diabetes makes me acutely aware of the challenges patients and their families have with this serious disease.
Today, millions of people with diabetes rely on us for their treatments. While we've done a lot to improve the lives of diabetes patients, there is still more to do. According to the International Diabetes Foundation, more than 550 million worldwide will have diabetes by 2030. Millions of people continue to suffer from diabetes-related complications due to a lack of diabetes awareness, unhealthy lifestyles or inadequate access to health care. The costs to society are staggering and they continue to rise.
The situation is becoming unsustainable. We know that globally, only half of all people with diabetes are diagnosed. (In the U.S., it's better, but not much.) Of those who know they have the disease, only half receive care. Half of the people with access to care achieve treatment targets and just half of this population achieves desired outcomes.
We are determined to change this. In addition to continuing to improve our medicines and devices, this means taking a deeper look into how we can make a difference beyond our medicines.
Increased access to diabetes care is one way we are responding to this challenge. We've committed to a worldwide goal of reaching 40 million patients with medical care by 2020. Our broad portfolio of treatments allows us to continue to provide insulin that is affordable and accessible for those who do not have access to the diabetes treatments. To help these treatments get to the people who need them, we're working with partners in developing markets to establish more reliable distribution channels. Our products, global presence and strong partnerships create an important platform to change diabetes care.
In addition to patient care, increased disease education and awareness continue to be priorities in our fight against diabetes. We are advocates for diabetes screenings to aid in early detection and effective, community-based prevention programs.
We're also responding to the gaps in patient-physician communications that further complicate the unique challenges of diabetes. Throughout the year, we'll report findings from our DAWN2 study on the needs of diabetes patients, their family members and healthcare providers. Our goal is to help find ways to better support and empower patients. These insights can also help physicians communicate more effectively with patients - supporting improved outcomes.
As we reflect on our past 90 years of progress, it's clear to us that while we have much to celebrate, our work is not done. Until we defeat diabetes, we will continue to identify new and more effective ways to support people with diabetes to live fuller, healthier and more productive lives.