Novo Nordisk (NYSE – NVO) is the worldwide leader in the fight against diabetes. Its Diabetes Care segment provides insulin analogs, human insulin and insulin-related products, and oral antidiabetic drugs. Its Biopharmaceuticals segment provides haemostasis management, growth hormone therapy, hormone replacement therapy, and other products.
Much of Novo’s growth comes from insulin analogs, which are synthetic, as opposed to human insulin. The key to avoiding hypoglycemia with insulin lies in the creation of delivery methods that emulate physiologic insulin secretion. Conventional (human) insulin preparations make emulation impossible, while insulin analogs can closely mimic physiologic patterns. The company created the world’s first insulin pen device, and now is a world leader in production and distribution of these revolutionary insulin delivery systems.
Novo’s commitment to corporate social responsibility is reflected in its annual report, which integrates financial, social and environmental reporting. In 2001 Novo launched a wide variety of activities to improve access to diabetes care that reached an estimated 21 million people worldwide. Novo has offered human insulin to the public health systems in the 50 least developed countries, at prices not to exceed 20% of the average price in industrialized countries.
Novo has set an ambitious target for reducing its CO2 emissions by 10% in the period 2004-2014. In the absence of reduction initiatives, the company estimates that CO2 emissions would grow by 67%.
Novo’s product mix is not issue free: there has been significant controversy over hormone replacement therapy for women, and concerns about ‘normal’ kids using human growth hormone.