Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company that discovers, develops, and manufactures and distributes pharmaceutical products worldwide. It operates through two segments. The diabetes and obesity care segment (85% of 2020 sales) offers insulin and related products, GLP-1 and related delivery systems, oral antidiabetic products (OAD), and medicines for obesity and other serious chronic diseases.
The Biopharm segment (15% of sales) covers treatments for rare blood disorders such as haemophilia, rare endocrine disorders, growth disorders, hormone replacement therapy and other serious chronic diseases, which is currently focused on cardiovascular diseases, NASH and chronic kidney disease.
Founded in 1925 in Denmark as an insulin producer, the company has 45,323 employees globally.
Novo Nordisk’s largest segment is focused on treatments for diabetes, a chronic disease which leads to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves if untreated. Over 422 million or 8.5% of adults globally suffer from diabetes and diabetes has been the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths in 2019 (WHO), making its treatment important to achieve global health. Novo Nordisk is a significant player in treatment for diabetes, with a global market share of 29.3% (2020).
Another serious chronic disease that afflicts a high share of the population worldwide is obesity, which is closely linked to type 2 diabetes and poses a range of other health risks like cancer and heart disease. Around 650 million people were living with the disease in 2020 according to the WHO. Novo Nordisk has worked on getting the disease widely recognized as such and to offer medical treatment to help effective management of it. The company’s products further address haemophilia, growth disorders and hormone replacement therapy.
In addition, the company has an equitable pricing strategy for recombinant human insulins for all least developed countries and some low- and middle-income countries with large low-income populations. Two of Novo Nordisk's treatments are considered essential medicines by the WHO.