Drugs Pharma

Diabetes, obesity drugs boost Novo Nordisk profit, sales


HQ Team

Novo Nordisk’s net profit rose 14% year-on-year in nine months to September as it forecasted higher profit and sales for the year on the back of increasing demand for its diabetes and obesity medicines.

The company predicted operating profit to increase between 13% and 16% this year at constant currencies, according to a statement from Novo. That is higher than an earlier estimate of between 11% and 15%. 

Novo, headquartered outside Copenhagen, Denmark,

also raised the outlook for sales. Sales increased by 26% in Danish kroner and 16% at constant exchange rates to Danish kroner 128.9 billion in the first nine months of 2022.

Operating profit increased by 28% in the Danish kroner and 14% at constant exchange rates to kroner 57.7 billion. Sales within diabetes and obesity care increased by 29% in kroner to 113.2 billion or 18%.


The profit rose due to GLP-1 diabetes drug sales, which grew 59% in Danish kroner or 44% at constant exchange rates.

Obesity care sales grew by 75% at constant exchange rates, and Novo expects to make all Wegovy dose strengths available in the US towards the end of 2022. 

Novo had “encouraging” phase 2 data with its drug CagriSema in type 2 diabetes, Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, president and CEO.

It also succeeded in completing the phase 3 programme for once-weekly insulin icodec support, “further raising the innovation bar for diabetes treatments.”

6.7 million deaths

The number of people with diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Diabetes is a significant cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation, according to the World Diabetes Federation.

Between 2000 and 2019, there was a 3% increase in diabetes mortality rates by age. In 2019, diabetes and kidney disease due to diabetes caused an estimated 2 million deaths.

Approximately 537 million adults between the ages of 20-79 are living with diabetes. The total number of people living with diabetes is slated to rise to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.

Diabetes caused 6.7 million deaths in 2021.

The World Obesity Atlas 2022 of the World Obesity Federation predicts that one billion people globally, including one in five women and one in seven men, will be living with obesity by 2030.

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