Novo Nordisk, the global pharma company that has long made Plainsboro its North American headquarters, was named Company of the Year by Yahoo Finance on Monday — an honor spurred by the success of Ozempic, the diabetes drug that has shown to have an amazing ability to spur weight loss.
Novo Nordisk’s U.S. sales were up 45% this year as of Sept 30.
The company also reported nearly $12 billion from Wegovy and Ozempic in the first nine months of the year, accounting for more than 50% of the $22 billion reported for obesity and diabetes care in the same period.
The diabetes drug Ozempic, along with its counterpart Wegovy, which is approved for obesity treatment, has had an unprecedented impact in the weight loss business. About 1.7% of people in the country have been prescribed a semaglutide, an active ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic, in 2023, up 40-fold over the past five years, according to a recent report.
Analysts predict weight loss drugs will have ripples across many industries, including food, clothing and airlines. It already is having an impact on Novo Nordisk’s stock price: It is up 45% year to date, outperforming the S&P 500’s 19% gain.
CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen recently discussed the company with Yahoo Finance.
“We are not chasing short-term returns, but we’re trying to build value for the long term with an eye for the social responsibility we have, the environmental responsibility we have and, of course, staying a healthy company from a financial point of view,” he said.