Can you give a brief background of Novo Nordisk and why you chose to come to Indonesia?

Novo Nordisk is the largest diabetes care company and the world’s largest manufacturer of insulin. In 2007, I was the country manager for Novo Nordisk in Bangladesh before being transferred to Indonesia to strengthen our presence and enhance business success. We recognized the tremendous potential in Indonesia, given its position as the fourth most populous country in the world. When I arrived, Novo Nordisk was facing challenges, but through dismantling systems and driving growth, we have achieved a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35% and become one of the fastest-growing affiliates in our region.

Has your growth been due to a change in business strategy or correlated with the market’s growth in diabetes?

Our growth has been a combination of both factors. Indonesia has a population of 250 million, with approximately seven million people living with diabetes. While the market is growing, we have experienced faster growth. We have identified eight countries in this region where our investments are ahead of the curve, and Indonesia is one of them. Our success stems from identifying gaps in the country’s healthcare system. Indonesia ranks seventh among the top ten countries with the highest diabetes prevalence.

Could you elaborate on these gaps? What is it that you see in the market, and what steps are you taking to address your observations?

We have identified several gaps, including awareness, doctors’ education, capacity building, and access. To address these issues, we implement programs to increase diabetes awareness and provide education and training for doctors. As there is a shortage of endocrinologists, we take a special interest in providing education in this field. We actively collaborate with the Ministry of Health, policymakers, associations, and the hospital association in Indonesia. We also engage with regional governments through leadership forums to build consensus on diabetes treatment and management. Being a responsible medicine provider, we approach diabetes as a civic and healthcare priority, working with stakeholders at every level.

Among the various steps that Novo Nordisk is taking to combat diabetes, which is the most significant?

Creating awareness and patient education are the most significant steps we are taking. In Indonesia, patient education is crucial due to the misconceptions surrounding diabetes. Proper education can help overcome these misconceptions. We work closely with the Ministry of Health to ensure the spread of knowledge and provide recommendations for necessary steps.

Given that the government is likely taking steps to reduce the incidence of diabetes, will this not reduce your need within the country?

Despite efforts to reduce the incidence of diabetes, its prevalence is still increasing due to changing social dynamics. Sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits have become prevalent as people become wealthier. Unhealthy diets contribute to the rising number of diabetics. As for our need, the diagnosis of diabetes will increase once the government’s universal healthcare system is fully implemented. This will enable us to diagnose more people with diabetes and address their treatment accordingly.

Do you have a closing message for our readers?

Novo Nordisk is a leading multinational company in diabetes care, and we are committed to staying in Indonesia. As a socially responsible company, we will continue to work closely with the government, with whom we have had an excellent experience. We look forward to utilizing our diverse portfolio of products to benefit the country. We have made significant investments in research and development, and we aim to introduce new products and continue our programs to improve the diabetes scenario in Indonesia.

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