Patient-centricity is the mindset of designing a service or solution
around a patient. At Novo Nordisk, patients are at the centre of our
business, so much so that it is laid out in the Novo Nordisk
Essentials, 10 clearly defined statements describing how the Novo
Nordisk Way works in practice.
Every day our employees make decisions with the attitude that our
choices and outputs should benefit our customers the most. It is a
part of our culture, and when we ask employees why they choose Novo
Nordisk or why they stay, they often reference our dedication to
putting the needs of the populations we serve first. When you look at
Novo Nordisk’s history, patient-centricity is a large part of our DNA.
Our founder, Nobel prize physiologist August
Krogh, traveled to Toronto from Copenhagen after hearing that
Banting and Best were working on a compound for diabetes, which he
thought could help his wife Marie, who had Type 2 diabetes. Marie
Krogh was particularly interested in the treatment as well. Herself a
doctor, she had in 1914 also become the fourth Danish woman to earn a
doctorate in medicine. She was a researcher with her own medical
practice and had several patients with type 1 diabetes. It was Marie,
who suggested that her husband contact the University of Toronto where
the first life-saving insulin extract had been produced. Our roots
stem from August Krogh’s relentless pursuit to find the best treatment
for his wife, Marie, a patient.
Almost 100 years ago, Novo Nordisk embarked on treating diseases
that were not very common1 because we knew the impact our treatments
could have on patients’ quality of life. Now, diabetes, obesity and
other chronic illnesses are growing health issues despite the range of
treatments available, affecting the lives of many people worldwide and
we are still committed to exploring these areas for the benefit of
patients. Often, chronic diseases like obesity are associated with
stigma focused on diet, weight or lifestyle habits. Unfortunately, it
is not universally accepted that being overweight and living with
obesity are diseases, evidenced by the low treatment rates despite
their high prevalence. As a result, Novo Nordisk is committed to Changing
Diabetes® and Changing ObesityTM. We are dedicated to finding
effective treatment options and change common misconceptions to
further help patients.
Patient-centricity is also an important part in our drug development
and advocacy for access. We invest in clinical trials so that our
stakeholders can take an evidenced-based approach to their treatment
decisions. Our trials allow us to collect data on the best treatment
options and develop innovative therapies that empower individuals to
effectively manage their disease. Novo Nordisk is about to begin the
largest study, with 17,500 participants, focused on long term
treatment of obesity. We believe it is our responsibility to conduct
these innovative trials in order to change the way treatments for
chronic diseases are viewed.
What started as one couple’s search for a treatment for diabetes has
grown into an organization-wide commitment to excellence in care and
innovation. From 1922 to today, it’s a legacy we’re proud to uphold
because patients are at the center of all that we do and we are
committed to putting them first.
1 Gale EA. The rise of childhood type 1 diabetes in the 20th
century. Diabetes. 2002 Dec;51(12):3353-61.