Danish Co. to Produce Drug for Diabetes

Danish Co. to Produce  Drug for Diabetes  Danish Co. to Produce  Drug for Diabetes

There are no limitations on the supply of raw materials and transfer of technology to Iran in the production of anti-diabetic drugs including ‘Victoza’ by the Danish multinational firm Novo Nordisk, which is constructing a plant at Kordan village, Savojbolagh County in Alborz Province.

The company, the first western pharmaceutical firm to build a manufacturing plant in the country, is interested in investing in Iran and a contract for the $78 million plant for production of the drugs was signed last year (ended March), said its Vice President and General Manager Cem Ozenc, on the sidelines of the second one-day international symposium of ‘Diabetes and Innovative Medicine’ held Friday in Tehran.

Novo Nordisk aims to help 5 million Iranians who are suffering from diabetes and “we want to raise production to a point that meets the needs of all diabetic people in Iran,” Ozenc said, quoted by IRNA.

He also said it is almost two years since Victoza is available in domestic drugstores.

The 40,000 sq m of land in Kordan was purchased by the Danish firm from Barekat Foundation early June, and construction work for the plant had started.

Barekat Foundation is dedicated to creating entrepreneurs, building schools and infrastructural facilities in remote and underdeveloped regions in the country. It is affiliated to the Setad, a special office for executing the decrees of Imam Khomeini in helping the underprivileged.

Around 160 people will be employed at the plant, which will be completely financed by Novo Nordisk, said Ozenc. The firm has 97 branches across the world.

Novo Nordisk has been represented in Iran through a local partner (Novo Nordisk Pars) since 2002, serving about 700,000 Iranian diabetics through the partnership.

Ole Moelskov Bech, head of Novo Nordisk in the near east region had said last September that the plant “is good for Iranian patients; good for Iranian society because we will create jobs and bring in modern technology and processes; and good for Novo Nordisk because Iran is a big market.” It would take four to five years to start production.

  Insurance Coverage

Victoza is a prescription medicine that improves blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. It should be taken along with a healthy diet and exercise. Nine years ago it was produced for the first time in Denmark, said Dr. Ali Mostofi, executive secretary of the conference.

“Each vial of the injectable drug costs $95 in the domestic market but soon it will be covered by health insurance,” he added.  More than 300 Iranian and foreign experts attended the symposium. The foreign participants, mostly scientists and researchers in the field of medicine were invited based on papers they had published in reputed international journals.


According to Iran’s Endocrine Research Center, 15% of Tehranis suffer from diabetes and an additional 15% are in the pre-diabetes stage. During the last two decades the rate of the disease has shot up 11%.

Currently, one in three people aged 20 and older has diabetes. The figure is one in two for those above the age of 60. The number of patients suffering from diabetes will increase to 9-10 million by the year 2025.

Type 2 diabetes, once known as adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition that affects the way the body metabolizes sugar (glucose), the body’s important source of fuel.

With type 2 diabetes, your body either resists the effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells — or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal glucose level.

Although there’s no cure for type 2 diabetes, the condition is manageable by eating well, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight and using medication.