Access to Insulin Commitment

Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases. Our purpose has remained the same for almost a 100 years, and today, it is more important than ever before.

Scientific breakthroughs are fundamental to progress, and we will continue to innovate until we defeat diabetes. But our innovation to improve lives must go hand in hand with access and affordability.?

To provide support and relief to the most vulnerable patients in the world is at the core of our social responsibility. It is essential to our purpose to defeat diabetes.?

The majority of people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries.1?Access to reliable and affordable supplies of insulin is a challenge for many. In fact, it is estimated that 50 million people lack access to insulin worldwide.2

Novo Nordisk has addressed this challenge since we introduced our Differential Pricing Policy for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in 2001. Our continued commitment to having a low-cost insulin in our product portfolio and to producing and making human insulin available for years to come, is formulated in our Access to Insulin Commitment. Today, our Access to Insulin Commitment covers a total of 76 countries, home to a third of the world’s diabetes population1, as well as selected humanitarian organisations.?

Our access to insulin commitment is one out of many initiatives in our social responsibility strategy, Defeat Diabetes.

The commitment builds on the following principles:

  • It is our ambition to continue to be the leading supplier of low-priced human insulin in the world. We wish to provide affordable insulin treatment to significantly more patients in low- and middle-income countries and we are committed to passing on possible future gains in production efficiency to patients.
  • 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. Our guarantee applies to?Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as defined by the UN,?other low-income countries as defined by the World Bank?and middle-income countries where large low-income populations lack sufficient health coverage. For the selected humanitarian organisations, the commitment is global in scope.
  • Our guarantee entails that we will provide the human insulin needed at a guaranteed ceiling price. The annual ceiling price will be decided by our Executive Management. From 1 August 2020, the ceiling price is set at USD 3.00 per vial. The ceiling price applies unless the price is determined by local agreements. The product supplied under this guarantee will be human insulin in vials.


An estimated 2.9 million people were treated with insulin under this commitment in 2019, of which approximately 200,000 people were reached through sales to humanitarian organisations. In 2019, the average price the insulin was sold at under the commitment was USD 2.9 per vial, equalling 12 cents per patient per day.3 Beyond this commitment, Novo Nordisk sold human insulin at or below the ceiling price in other countries, reaching an estimated additional 2.2 million people in 2019.



1. International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 9 ed. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation;2019.

2. ACCISS. Insulin Prices Profile. The Netherlands: Health Action International;2016.

3. Assuming average daily dose of 40 IU, as per WHO, Drug and Therapeutic Committee - A Practical Guide, 2003, Annex 6.1.

Learn more

Countries where the commitment applies

Position on access to diabetes care

Access to Medicines Index (ATMI)