Our long-standing aspiration of creating value for society and for
our future business is more relevant than ever, given the mounting
threats to people's lives and livelihoods posed by the health and
environmental challenges dominating today's global agenda. The past
two years have underscored the essential role of science in tackling
these challenges, whether managing a rogue virus or reducing emissions.
Continued investment in innovation is vital for patients, the
future of our company and for the wider benefits we can offer to
society. It is therefore gratifying to see the strides that have
been made in 2021 with the launch of new products - most notably
Wegovy® for obesity. Production challenges meant that we
struggled to meet the high patient demand for the treatment - a
situation that served to underline the vital importance of
investments made in our global production capacity during 2021.
The opportunity for the coming years is to execute on the
commercial potential of our innovative, new treatments while
ensuring that as many people as possible have access to quality
medicines. At the same time, we must succeed in developing the
medicines of the future. This means looking beyond our existing
focus areas and our successful GLP-1 molecule semaglutide, towards
other therapy areas and new technology platforms to address unmet
medical needs related to serious chronic diseases.
To serve more patients with high quality medicines and to
continue to grow sustainably, we will evolve and challenge ourselves
in how we work and innovate. This also entails combining our
company's deep in-house expertise with the best science from
outside, through partnerships with other businesses, with
universities around the world and with research institutions. If we
succeed, Novo Nordisk will look very different a decade from now, by
which time we will not only be serving people living with diabetes
and obesity but also making a positive impact in new therapeutic areas.
Our stable ownership structure with the Novo Nordisk Foundation
as the main shareholder will help in this transition by supporting
us through investment in research and development for the long-term
while maintaining a focus on high quality operations and financial performance.
We must also ensure that Novo Nordisk has a diverse and truly
inclusive culture if we are to become a better and more innovative
company. With this in mind, we have set new 2025 aspirational targets
for achieving a balanced gender representation across managerial
levels. We believe that this will also stimulate and inspire the work
we are doing to enhance other diversity dimensions.
At Board level, we are also committed to ensuring strong
diversity and having the right competences to meet future
challenges. In 2021, the Board was delighted to welcome the election
of Henrik Paulsen, whose deep experience in corporate
transformations and strong ESG credentials will be invaluable. I
would also like to thank Brian Daniels and Liz Hewitt, who stepped
down from the Board in 2021 , for their significant contributions to
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to offer my
sincere thanks to all Novo Nordisk employees for their dedication and
contribution to the good operational and strategic progress in 2021;
to CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen and his team for their leadership and
to our shareholders and other stakeholders for continued support.
Chair of the Board of Directors