Our COVID-19 pandemic update

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our commitment to patients, our employees and the communities where we operate remains unchanged.

Normal operations during COVID-19

We continue to supply our medicines to people living with diabetes and other serious chronic diseases, safeguard the health of our employees, and take actions to support doctors and nurses as they work to defeat COVID-19.

New questions and concerns will be raised as the pandemic changes and we want to keep you informed with updates on the supply of our medicines, answers for people who are taking them, and how to get in touch with us.

Assembly line of insulin pens

Our continued supply of vital medicines

Currently, we are not experiencing any supply issues. We are well prepared for situations like this, and we have a storage policy that ensures long-term delivery.

This is important as we are dealing with vital medicines that patients all over the world depend on every day.

We are aware that health authorities and pharmacies are doing their best to ensure the availability of vital medicines during COVID-19, and we can assure you that our current stock levels are normal. As we continue to monitor the situation, we will share our updates.

Male wearing protection mask looking out the window

People living with diabetes and other serious chronic disease

If you, or someone you know, is living with diabetes, obesity, or another serious chronic disease, there is no doubt you have some concerns. As many of us are being asked to stay home, there are many questions about both physical and mental concerns.

We want to share tips and suggestions we hope you will find useful.

Diabetes and COVID-19

Obesity and COVID-19

Novo Nordisk laboratory technician

Taking care of our employees

To protect the health and safety of our employees, we follow the advice and guidance from local health authorities. In some countries and communities where the risk of infection is still high, we are asking employees to work from home.

During these extraordinary working conditions, we are ensuring employees have support to keep active, work ergonomically from home and adopt to a digital workplace.

We are taking measures to keep employees working at our production sites safe and able to practice recommended social distancing when on the job.

HCP with patient, Novo Nordisk PIONEER study

Status on our clinical trials

We are continuing all of our already-initiated clinical trials and we do not expect significant delays in those that are close to finalisation. In the current situation, we are in close dialogue with trial investigators across the globe and we rely on their judgement to pause any ongoing trial recruitment and minimise patient visits to sites in order to coincide with regular medical care visits.

We also observe that trial follow-up is increasingly difficult, and we are working with relevant trial sites, investigators and authorities to find the best solutions in the situation. For ongoing trials, recruitment of new patients is negatively impacted, but gradually improving. It is now possible to initiate new trials in certain countries.

FAQ

About our operations and business

Novo Nordisk is supporting health authorities’ efforts in affected areas with several initiatives, including making donations, sharing raw materials for the production of hand sanitisers and opening up our labs to help with COVID-19 testing.

We are monitoring the global situation very carefully to ensure appropriate action can be taken as the situation develops.

We are aware that health authorities and pharmacies in some countries are doing their best to ensure medicine is always available for those who need it, but we can assure you that our current stock levels are normal.

This means that there might be limits to the amount of medicine or number of devices a patient is able to get at any one time. It is important to collect your medicine or devices as per normal requirements, so that all people living with diabetes and other chronic diseases have access to their essential medicine.

We are in close contact with our partners, including health authorities and pharmacies, to monitor their inventory levels.

The situation is continually evolving, but currently we are not experiencing any supply constraints. We are well prepared for situations like this and have an inventory policy that serves long-term supply. This is important since our medicines are needed every day by patients all over the world. 

At Novo Nordisk, when conducting clinical trials, our priorities are patient safety and clinical trial integrity. We are continuing all of our already-initiated clinical trials and we do not expect significant delays in those that are close to finalisation.

In the current situation, we are in close dialogue with trial investigators across the globe and we rely on their judgment to pause any ongoing trial recruitment and minimise patient visits to sites in order to coincide with regular medical care visits.

We also observe that trial follow-up is increasingly difficult, and we are working with relevant trial sites, investigators and authorities to find the best solutions in the situation. To reflect the current strain on the healthcare system, no new trials will be initiated.

To protect the health and safety of our employees, we follow the advice of local health authorities to ensure safe working conditions. 

For employees still working remotely, we are ensuring they have support to keep active, work ergonomically from home and adapt to a digital workplace.

We are taking measures to provide safe working conditions at our production sites and to practice recommended social distancing practices when on the job. We are asking only those employees for whom COVID-19 is not considered a health risk to be in the office or factory.

If you have any questions or concerns about the availability or affordability of our medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact our local office in your country.

Click here get an overview of our global offices

FAQ

For people living with diabetes & obesity

We recognise the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on people’s lives around the world, and while people with diabetes and/or obesity are not at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 than the general population, COVID-19 can cause more severe symptoms and complications in some people living with diabetes, obesity and related complications, for example cardiovascular disease.

Currently, there is no evidence regarding the increased risk of COVID-19 infection in people with obesity. Evidence suggests that for common seasonal flu, people with obesity with BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2 have an increased risk of serious complications. US CDC and Public Health UK include people with severe obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2) as those who have an increased risk of serious complications from COVID-19.

If diabetes is well-managed, the risk of serious illness from COVID‑19 is about the same as the general population.

To continue to support people living with diabetes and obesity during this time, additional information and support can be found at our patient support websites:

Diabetes: Diabetes What’s Next®

Obesity: Truth About Weight®

The risks are similar for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes have an increased risk of DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) if infected with viral infection.

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, we recognise the impact on people’s lives around the world, including people living with diabetes. People with diabetes should have the following ready:

  • Contact information of their healthcare provider.
  • Adequate stock of medications and supplies for monitoring blood glucose at home.
  • Enough stock of simple carbohydrates like soft drinks, honey, jam, sweets or ice lollypops to help keep the blood sugar up if at risk for lows and too ill to eat.
  • Glucagon and ketone strips, in case of poor glycaemic control (high or low blood glucose levels).

Patients should also watch for emergency warning signs like: difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face.

Should someone with diabetes develop or suspect they have COVID‑19 symptoms, recommendations from local authority should be followed. In some countries, patients are advised to get medical attention immediately. However, it is recommended not to go to the hospital directly to avoid transmitting the virus to others and to allow priority arrangements to be made by medical personnel. 

Call the hospital/physician and provide the following:

  • Symptoms
  • Glucose and ketone reading (if available)
  • Track of fluid consumption

Follow the advice of your diabetes care team regarding medication usage. Stay hydrated and have unsweetened drinks on hand; and practice eating smaller portions but more often. 

People with diabetes infected with the virus may see a deterioration in their glycaemic control during the illness. Patients should follow “sick day guidelines” to improve their diabetes decompensation.

Always follow the advice of local authorities. The following measures are suggested by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in these patients:

  • Follow advice of the physician (or diabetes team) regarding diabetes medication and monitoring of blood glucose.
  • Be aware of the signs of hyperglycaemia (such as passing more urine than normal; especially at night), being very thirsty, headaches, tiredness and lethargy.
  • Monitor blood glucose frequently throughout the day and night (generally, every 2–3 hours).
  • Stay hydrated.
  • If blood glucose is below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) or below the target range, eat 15 grams of simple carbohydrates that are easy to digest (ex. honey, jam, sweets, popsicles, juice or soft drinks). Blood glucose should be checked in 15 minutes to ensure sugar levels are rising.
  • Ketones should be checked if blood glucose levels are more than 240mg/dL (13.3 mmol/L) twice in row. Your physician should be consulted immediately if you have medium or high ketones (and if instructed to with trace or small ketones).
  • Check with self-measured blood glucose tests to ensure accuracy of CGM sensors as some are impacted by acetaminophen/paracetamol.
  • Hands should be washed, and injection/infusion and finger-prick sites should be cleaned with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
  • Limit your activity if your blood glucose level is higher than 250 mg/dl and ketones are moderate to large.

For additional guidance, please see the CDC ‘Flu and Sick Days Guidelines’ here.

Our commitment to the patients and communities where we operate remains unchanged and our focus during this unprecedented time is on safeguarding the health of our employees and patients.

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, we recognise the impact on people’s lives around the world, including people with obesity.

People should not discontinue any medical treatment they are receiving (including AOMs) without first discussing with their healthcare provider, in line with guidance from local health authorities.

Individuals with obesity should continue physical activity in accordance to guidance from local health authorities and ensure social distancing.

For general recommendations on physical activity and healthy eating during the COVID-19 crisis, we recommend that people with obesity follow guidance from qualified HCPs and professional associations. 

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, we recognise the impact on people’s lives around the world, including people with obesity. People with obesity are advised to follow the recommendations provided by WHO and their local authority if suspected of COVID-19 symptoms.

People should not discontinue any medical treatment they are receiving (including AOMs) without first discussing with their healthcare provider, in line with guidance from local health authorities.

Our commitment to the patients and communities where we operate remains unchanged and our focus during this unprecedented time is on safeguarding the health of our employees and patients.

Everyone should follow the same recommendations that have been issued by public health authorities to reduce exposure to the virus, including frequently and thoroughly washing your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds, practicing good hygiene and avoiding contact with people who are unwell. 

We continue to provide support to patients worldwide. Currently, we are not experiencing any supply issues and our stock levels are normal. We are well prepared for situations like this, and we have a storage policy that ensures long-term supply. This is important as we are dealing with vital medicines that patients all over the world depend on every day.

As the global situation evolves, we are focused on ensuring that our patients continue to get access to the medicines that they need.

Novo Nordisk is committed to our responsibility and contribution to global health and will provide timely support and resources in the collaborative response to COVID-19.

Please follow this page for updates to this information.

Currently, there is no data to indicate any impact on taking our medicines (e.g. GLP-1 receptor agonists or insulins) if people with diabetes or obesity get infected with COVID-19.

The health and wellbeing of our patients during the COVID-19 health crisis is at the heart of everything we do.

We are committed to our responsibility and contribution to global health and will provide timely support and resources in the collaborative response to COVID-19.

Please follow this page for updates to this information.

This is general disease awareness and should not be understood as medical advice. If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 or have questions, doubts or concerns, you should contact your doctor. Always follow the advice of local authorities.

In preparing our frequently asked questions for people living with diabetes and obesity, we consulted the following sources:

  • CDC. People at High Risk For Flu Complications. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/index.html. Last accessed: March 2020.

Contact us

In times like these, we want to help provide clarity for healthcare providers, patients, partners and others. Below you can see how to contact us with your questions or concerns:

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