Novo Nordisk poised for Chinese market

Growing wealth in China has brought health problems, such as diabetes, along with it. Novo Nordisk has already captured a large share of the market

Insulin producer Novo Nordisk finds its operations in China expanding at double-digit rates with sales in China exceeding DKK 1 billion (EUR 130 million) last year and the company has secured 60 percent of the market.

Together with the Chinese health authorities, Novo Nordisk has trained some 50,000 doctors to treat diabetes, which is growing at an epidemic rate in China, said Henrik Simonsen, an analyst with Enskilda Securities.

'The Chinese have become more and more wealthy and eat fattier, Western foods,' Simonsen told daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten. 'Their bodies have a hard time processing the calorie-rich food, so they develop diabetes more easily than Europeans.'

Health experts place the number of diabetics in China at 35 million.

He noted that Novo Nordisk's experience in the country gave it a favourable position to be the market leader in the country, an opinion backed up by Jesper Hoiland, head of the company's International Operations.

'I think that within eight to ten years, China will be in the top three countries that post the highest turnover for Novo Nordisk. The market grows with over 30 percent a year and is one of the fastest growing in the company,' said Hoiland.

The company's International Operations are assuming importance with expanding economies in Brazil, India and Russia also showing signs of growth.

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