Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, CEO of Novo Nordisk, announces that the company is facing demand outstripping supply, a problem it plans to gradually improve over the next year. The ramp-up in production is illustrated by the increase in new patients on treatment from 5,600 to 27,000 per week, demonstrating Novo Nordisk's commitment to widening access to its innovations.

To increase production capacity, Novo Nordisk acquired Catalan and doubled its investment in production capacity to around $6.4 billion. These funds are earmarked both for improving the manufacture of active ingredients, mainly in Denmark, and for increasing filling and finishing capacity at all existing sites and with contract manufacturers.

Jørgensen stresses the importance of ramping up production to meet growing demand and reduce unit costs, enabling Novo Nordisk to serve more patients while maintaining the company's growth. He disputes low production cost estimates, such as those suggested by a Yale study, saying they do not reflect the massive investments needed to meet regulatory standards.

As for the long-term use of GLP-1 drugs, Jørgensen admits that it is too early to say whether these treatments will be needed for life for all patients. He envisages different pathways for patients, some of whom may require more effective and expensive drugs, while others may switch to cheaper options or even go without drugs after a certain period of time.

Finally, Jørgensen discusses the future of oral forms of GLP-1 drugs, such as the oral semaglutide, currently in phase 3 clinical trials. He suggests that weekly injections and daily oral treatments will co-exist on the market, offering patients options according to their individual preferences and needs.


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