Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO) said it would add more than 600 jobs across the United States, or 15 percent of its U.S. workforce, to keep up with the growing number of Americans with diabetes. It is a marked departure from the trend of pharmaceutical companies to cut staff and outsource needs like research and development and sales staff, according to a company statement.
A spokesman with the Danish specialty pharmaceutical company with U.S. headquarters in New Jersey said many of the jobs would be field sales positions,mainly this year, but staff would also be added in other areas to accomodate the rise in the number of diabetes cases. The company said 53 million Americans are expected to have diabetes by 2025.
“Unfortunately because of the pandemic we are in there are opportunities for us to expand because the need is so great.”
Last year Challenger Gray & Christmas issued a report that nearly 300,000 jobs had been cut from the pharmaceutical industry since 2000.
The company is awaiting a decision by the U.S. Food and Drug administration on whether to approve the company’s long-acting insulin product Degludec to treat nocturnal hypoglycemia. It is scheduled to make a decision on July 29.
Two Phase 3 studies published in British medical journal “The Lancet” said the drug showed a 25 percent reduction in the rates of nocturnal hypoglycemia compared to insulin glargine. The drug has blockbuster potential if approved, with estimated sales of $1.4 billion by 2016.