Novo Nordisk’s Obesity Drugs Reshape Denmark’s Economy, Sparking Economic and Policy Debates

September 1, 2023

Novo Nordisk, a Danish firm initially known for producing diabetes drugs, has become highly influential on Denmark’s economy due to the remarkable success of its two obesity drugs, Ozempic and Wegovy. Their overseas sales surge led to lower interest rates in the country and contributed significantly to Denmark’s recent economic growth. Today, the company’s market value surpasses the Danish economy’s, drawing debate on whether the country should report economic statistics with and without Novo Nordisk’s contribution. Despite limited increases in employment, benefits from Novo Nordisk are cascading to the Danish population through significant tax contributions. Experts expect the company’s traction to increase as its drugs tap into a large potential customer base of over 100 million obese adults in the U.S. alone. However, some economists caution against over-reliance on the company, referring to situations like the Dutch disease, where a sudden income increase negatively affects the economy.

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[Source: The New York Times, August 28th, 2023]

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