NEW YORK, Sept 21 Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk
A/S on Wednesday pledged to provide insulin at
steeply discounted prices in the world's least-developed nations
in what it is calling its "access to insulin commitment."
The company, which produces almost half of the world's
insulin, said the guarantee applied to Least Developed Countries
as defined by the United Nations, other low-income nations as
defined by the World Bank, and selected organizations providing
relief in humanitarian situations.
"We guarantee that we will provide low-priced human insulin
to ensure access to quality treatments for patients in the
poorest parts of the world for many years to come," the company
said in a statement.
Novo Nordisk Chief Executive Officer Lars Sorensen made the
announcement while taking part in a panel discussion during the
U.N. General Assembly on growing rates of non-communicable
diseases among vulnerable populations.
Novo promised that the cost of the medicine would not exceed
20 percent of the list prices charged for human insulin in
More than 400 million people suffer from diabetes worldwide,
while an estimated 50 million lack access to insulin, the
company said. If not properly controlled, diabetes can lead to a
wide range of very serious health complications.
While the guarantee involves only vials of human insulin,
the company said it will aim to make more innovative treatments
available to these least-developed and low-income nations "as
the human and economic conditions improve."
(Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)