Novo Nordisk Asks: When Will Diabetes be Recognized as a Global Health Threat?

Mar 22, 2011, 08:30 ET from Novo Nordisk

PRINCETON, N.J., March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the developing world is experiencing diabetes at a much faster rate than the developed world. Without effective preventive methods and access to proper care and medication, those living with diabetes in developing countries may not receive the adequate treatment and care to successfully manage the disease, putting them at greater risk of serious complications and even death. Between 2010 and 2030, these regions are expected to see a 69% increase in the number of adults with diabetes compared to a 20% increase in developed countries.(1)

So why isn't enough being done about it?

Lars Rebien Sorensen, President and CEO of Novo Nordisk, joined leaders from industry, government, academia, civil society and the media at the World Economic Forum 2011 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland to explore important global health issues, including diabetes. In the new issue of the Novo Nordisk BlueSheet, Sorensen addresses the challenges in access to care and treatment for those living with diabetes across the globe, particularly children.

"Less than 10% of people living with diabetes in this world receive the care necessary to properly manage the disease, putting them at greater risk of serious complications and even death. This is truly sobering in today's modern world," stated Sorensen. "The breadth and depth of this epidemic can no longer be ignored, which is why we must develop accessible and sustainable infrastructures across the globe for detecting, preventing, treating and caring for diabetes in all age groups now."

Without intervention and increased access to health care, the serious global health consequences of non-communicable diseases like diabetes and the associated health care costs will continue to skyrocket. According to the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C., non-communicable diseases were responsible for 50% of the disease burden in 23 high-burden developing countries in 2005 and will cost those countries $84 billion by 2015 if nothing is done to slow their growth.(2)

Novo Nordisk examines this timely and topical global issue in the latest Novo Nordisk BlueSheet along with new data from the CDC on diabetes in the US; advocacy efforts related to diabetes on Capitol Hill; and a new innovative partnership designed to prevent and raise awareness for diabetes through realistic and holistic solutions. To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:

About Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 87 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care.  The company also has leading positions within hemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone therapy for women.  Novo Nordisk's business is driven by the Triple Bottom Line: a commitment to social responsibility to employees and customers, environmental soundness and economic success. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs more than 29,650 employees in 76 countries, and markets its products in 179 countries. Novo Nordisk's B shares are listed on the stock exchange in Copenhagen and its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NVO).  For more information, visit


(1) Shaw JE, Sicree RA, Zimmet PZ. "Global estimates of the prevalence of diabetes for 2010 and 2030." Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2010 Jan; 87(1):4-14. Epub 2009 Nov 6.

(2) Rachel Nuget (Center for Global Development, Washington, D.C.) "Chronic Diseases in Developing Countries Health and Economic Burdens." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2008.

©2011 Novo Nordisk   Printed in the U.S.A.   144039  April 2011

SOURCE Novo Nordisk