The head of the leading insulin producer in the world, Novo Nordisk, has called for action to reduce the unstoppable rise in diabetes. Otherwise, the health systems will be inundated and unable to afford new drugs.
The call by the chief executive Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen will be delivered on Thursday at the Houston, Texas’ global conference on urban diabetes. It would hopefully limit the demand for the drugmaker’s signature product based in Copenhagen.
He reported that currently, one in eleven people have diabetes. But, if the trend continues 1 in 9, or 736m on a global level, would have reduced it by 2045.
Obesity is the leading cause of diabetes, but if it decreases by 25%, it would also reduce the diabetes curve.
According to a report issued on the conference, the annual health cost linked to diabetes in 2045 would escalate to over $1tn. That’s almost 40% more of today’s cost, which is $775bn.
However, the increased cost linked to diabetes will make a big hole in other healthcare systems. As Mr. Jorgensen explains, that would negatively affect their business.
So, if the trend doesn’t change the whole healthcare system will suffer, and the ability to afford innovative drugs will reduce. The average prices after rebates for Novo Nordisk’s insulin products will probably drop, especially in the US.
Mr. Jorgensen emphasizes the importance of innovative drugs for the financial aspect of the company. Innovative products in the field of obesity care and diabetes have increased the overall sales by 4$.
And, there’s more room for growth in the field of diabetes, as many people are still not identified with the disease.
Last year, Saxenda, the company’s obesity drug, achieved a 245% increase in the sales from 2015. So, the growing trend of reducing weight problems could improve the market for Saxenda.
Semaglutide is another drug from the company which provides the same reduction as that achieved through gastric band surgery and similar surgical interventions.
But, Mr. Jorgensen says exercise and diet are also important.
Even though you can’t stop obesity, the urban planning has potential improvements which can ease people’s lives regarding walking or cycling to work.
What’s more, Mr. Jorgensen praised the faith groups in the US which helped educate people about diabetes risk factors. Also, the thousands of doctors in China trained in diabetes care.