Senior Director of External and Public Affairs, Global Innovation Policy Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
September 02, 2021
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Novo Nordisk recognized that patients, employees, and the community would be impacted in new and unique ways. The company focused on three key priorities:
- Ensuring patients continue to get the medicines they need
- Keeping their employees safe
- Supporting the public health agenda
"Patients who rely on our medicines every day, our employees who serve them, and the heroes trying to address the outbreak in our backyard demand our singular focus. Now, during these really challenging times, is when we all have to work together to keep our communities, loved ones, and those we care about safe and healthy. We take these responsibilities to heart and want people to know what we are doing and how we can help." said Doug Langa, Executive Vice President, North America Operations and President of Novo Nordisk Inc.
Solutions for Patients
With more than 3 million people using Novo Nordisk’s diabetes care products, the company continued its focus to identify ways to ensure patients would be able to access the medicine they need during the global pandemic.
In April 2020, Novo Nordisk announced that a new Diabetes Patient Assistance Program (PAP) would be available. Novo Nordisk insulin would be provided free of charge for 90 days to support those who had lost health insurance coverage because of a change in job status due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (This program currently runs through the end of 2021.) Importantly, the company has a long-standing commitment to helping those who struggle to afford insulin and provides several affordability options, including:
- Immediate Supply: This is a free, one-time, immediate supply of up to three vials or two packs of pens of Novo Nordisk Inc. insulin with a prescription for those at risk of rationing while working to identify a longer-term solution.
- My$99Insulin: For $99 per month, people with diabetes can get up to three vials or two packs of FlexPen®/FlexTouch®/PenFill® pens, of any combination of Novo Nordisk Inc. insulins with a prescription.
- Improvement to Patient Assistance Program (PAP): Effective April 1, 2020, Novo Nordisk updated its PAP program so that Medicare patients who qualify for PAP are no longer required to pay $1,000 for medicines before being eligible. Follow-on brand insulins (unbranded biologics): Unbranded biologics of NovoLog® and NovoLog® Mix, from Novo Nordisk Pharma, Inc. (NNPI), a Novo Nordisk A/S US company, can be ordered at one's local pharmacy and cost 50 percent off the current list prices of the branded medicine
- Novo Nordisk human insulin:ReliOn™ is available at Walmart for about $25/vial and for about $44/box of FlexPen®. Similar offerings are found at CVS and other national pharmacies.
- Copay Savings Cards: To help defray the costs for commercially insured patients who are experiencing high out-of-pocket costs.
In September 2020, Novo Nordisk collaborated with The Creative Coalition, to create a public service announcement raising awareness of the facts on COVID-19 and obesity. The PSA features artists who are using their voices to advocate for this issue, encouraging people with obesity to protect their health.
Additionally, in the United States, Novo Nordisk supported those making a difference on the ground and in local communities. The company donated more than $1 million in monetary and in-kind donations to national relief organizations, as well as efforts in New York City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. Relief efforts also included:
- Partnering with organizations to help support families with their basic needs, including the Partnership for Healthier America’s Fresh Food Fund that provided Denver families with 600,000 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables that might have otherwise gone to waste.
- Donating Personal Protective Equipment to local health systems in New Jersey and North Carolina.
- Supporting employees who are safely volunteering to help those in need in their own communities. Novo Nordisk employees are supporting food banks and community food distribution programs, helping thousands of local families in need receive fresh, healthy food.
For more information on Novo Nordisk’s efforts during COVID-19 visit novonordisk-us.com/covid-19.