Every generation of Novo Nordisk’s insulin portfolio is currently on the Thai Market and the affiliate is one of the fastest-growing pharma multinationals in Thailand. Upon this solid foundation, Novo is now looking to bring the company’s latest and most innovative products to Thailand, branch out into obesity treatments, and bridge the rural-urban access gap.
For patients to have better control of their diabetes, simpler treatment regimens, improved quality of life, and less hypoglycaemia, it is important that they upgrade to the more innovative insulins
John Dawber, Novo Nordisk Thailand
John Dawber, Novo Nordisk Thailand’s vice president & general manager since January 2019, highlights the affiliate’s rapid growth in recent years and the impact this stands to have on Thai diabetes patients. “Novo Nordisk was the third fastest-growing company in the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PReMA) group and has been growing between 14 and 18 percent annually thanks, in part, to our developed portfolio. Our GLP-1 Victoza® product, for instance, is still observing 30 percent growth in Thailand despite being almost 10 years old,” he notes. Dawber adds that there is much potential to “continue to improve the position of Novo Nordisk in Southeast Asia and, in doing so, change diabetes.”
To this end, Dawber is prioritising bringing Novo’s latest and most innovative treatments to Thailand. He states that “for patients to have better control of their diabetes, simpler treatment regimens, improved quality of life, and less hypoglycaemia, it is important that they upgrade to the more innovative insulins.” Dawber continues, “we are working with the Thai FDA to bring a second GLP-1 to market as soon as possible. While GLP-1 injectable treatments are highly effective for Type 2 diabetes, they make up only about 10 percent of the diabetes market in Thailand. There is much more potential.”
Alongside upgrading its existing diabetes-focused portfolio, Novo is also launching a product for the treatment of obesity. Dawber emphasises the company’s strong commitment to treating obesity, proclaiming that, “We must develop and educate the entire market on the importance of treating medical obesity and its links to the prevention of other chronic diseases.”
Another key concern for the Thai affiliate is propelling access to diabetes treatment for people in rural areas. “If you go to a university hospital or a diabetes clinic in Bangkok, you will see a huge opportunity for high-value products and the patient will be treated brilliantly,” asserts Dawber. “On the other hand, if you go outside of Bangkok, you will realize that patients there do not always have the same opportunities. We must make sure that the whole country has access to high-quality human or modern insulin and good delivery devices.”
To tackle this access gap, Dawber is looking to establish an increasing number of collaborations with hospitals, institutions and key opinion leaders, both national and international. “We proudly support the World Diabetes Foundation, which undertakes great work to improve diabetes care by educating diabetes clinics and doctors in the countryside,” he concludes.