PATH and Novo Nordisk announce Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action to address global diabetes threat

September 22, 2014 by PATH

New partnership launches effort to improve access to diabetes medicines and technologies in low-income countries

Kate Cheney Davidson, PATH,, (o) 206-302-4637, (m) 510-326-4451.

New York, September 22, 2014–Today, Novo Nordisk and PATH announced a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to address the rapidly growing global diabetes epidemic. The partnership aims to reduce complications and death from diabetes by targeting the availability of essential medicines and technologies in low- and middle-income countries.

Diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are now the leading cause of illness and death worldwide and are projected to be the most common cause of death in Africa by 2030, surpassing infectious diseases. NCDs place an enormous economic burden on families and communities in low-income countries, which are disproportionately affected. Of the estimated 382 million people with diabetes in 2013, 80 percent lived in low- and middle-income countries.

However, because NCDs like diabetes are neglected conditions in low-income countries, lack of access to essential treatment, medicines, and technologies is pervasive. As a result, people with diabetes suffer more complications and die earlier. Low-income countries are ill-equipped to meet the growing demand for treatment as the disease burden doubles to include both infectious diseases and NCDs.

"A multisectoral approach is critical to addressing diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases," said PATH President and CEO Steve Davis. "By combining PATH's leadership in innovative global health solutions and experience addressing cancer and other NCDs with Novo Nordisk's 90 years of expertise in diabetes care, we are taking the lead on confronting a growing threat to health and economic stability in low-income countries."

The US$730,000 commitment, announced at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, represents an initial investment toward raising the profile of this critical issue and engaging the global community to identify and advance innovative solutions.
"Millions of people living with diabetes lack regular access to the medicine and care they need," said Novo Nordisk Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff Lise Kingo. "With this partnership, we will draw on the recognized expertise of PATH in health systems strengthening to address this important challenge."

The effort–called No Empty Shelves: Diabetes Supplies…There When Needed–will identify factors affecting the availability of essential medicines and technologies recommended by the World Health Organization. Changes are needed, such as strengthening surveillance and monitoring to inform procurement, reworking fragmented procurement processes, and increasing funding. Understanding the barriers to availability and raising awareness is the first step to optimizing solutions for low-resource settings.

The project–which will focus globally and more specifically within Kenya and Nigeria–aims to contribute to the World Health Organization's target of achieving 80 percent availability of essential medicines and technologies by 2020. Both Kenya and Nigeria have high rates of diabetes, and the effort has the potential to impact the care of up to 1 million people in those countries who are seeking needed treatment.

About Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has leading positions within haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy, and hormone replacement therapy. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 40,700 employees in 75 countries, and markets its products in more than 180 countries. For more information, visit

About the Clinton Global Initiative

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date members of the CGI community have made more than 2,900 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at