Novo Nordisk relationships: the love story behind Ozempic, the slimming "miracle"

At this point in 2023, it is almost impossible for you not to have heard of Ozempic, a medication indicated to treat type 2 diabetes but which has become popular as the new "miracle" for losing weight

Novo Nordisk relationships: the love story behind Ozempic, the slimming "miracle"

At this point in 2023, it is almost impossible for you not to have heard of Ozempic, a medication indicated to treat type 2 diabetes but which has become popular as the new "miracle" for losing weight. The person responsible for this drug starting to make headlines was Kim Kardashian. The influencer shared a video on Tik Tok in which she explained how she had managed to fit into the Marilyn Monroe dress that she wore at the 2022 Met Gala. Indeed, her secret was Ozempic. It's not just her who has succumbed to the supposed slimming benefits of Ozempic. The tycoon Elon Musk confessed that he had lost weight thanks to Wegovy, another of Novo Nordisk's pearls that uses the same active ingredient as the first, semaglutide, and which is also indicated to treat diabetes and obesity.

The increase in its "pull" also in Spain has caused the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (Aemps) to recognize that there has been an increase in demand for the medicines included in this group. It has also issued a series of recommendations to try to alleviate supply problems if prescriptions are not adjusted to the cases for which they are indicated, in this case type 2 diabetes.

Electa Navarrete, better known as the nutritionist of celebrities [including Jorge Javier] warns about the use of this type of medication to lose weight: "The only valid and healthy way to lose weight is to change and take care of your diet. This is a patch and it can also be harmful to health because there have already been cases of people who feel sick and vomit or who have pancreatitis.

The pharmaceutical company behind Ozempic is Novo Nordisk, a Danish company that is celebrating its centenary this year. Although the name that resonates is Ozempic, behind the origin of this pharmaceutical empire there is a love story. In fact, in numerous videos shared on the company's social networks, this beautiful story is told. Marie Jørgensen (née Marie Krogh) was born in 1874 in Denmark and became the fourth Danish woman to earn a doctorate in medicine. She met the love of her life at the University of Copenhagen, the same one who in 1920 would become the Nobel Prize winner in Physiology and Medicine: August Krogh. Born in 1874 like his wife, whom he married in 1905, he was one of Denmark's most important scientists and professors of zoophysiology. Together with Marie he carried out relevant research and among his achievements are the studies he did on the function of capillaries. In 1922, in the wake of her Nobel Prize, the couple headed to the United States to attend a lecture tour of universities on the East Coast. Marie, who suffered from diabetes, convinced her husband to also travel to Canada to meet scientists Frederick Banting, Charles Best and John Macleod, who had just succeeded in manufacturing active insulin.

The result of this visit resulted in Canadian scientists giving the Kroghs permission to manufacture insulin in the Nordic countries. This not only changed the life of Marie herself but also that of her husband, with whom she laid the first stone of the Novo Nordisk empire. In 1922, August Krogh joined forces with Hagedorn, a diabetes doctor, and pharmacist August Kongsted to begin the production and sale of insulin in Scandinavia. This led to the creation in 1923 of the company Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium, the seed of what we know today as Novo Nordisk. Marie managed to treat her illness and the pair of scientists improved the lives of thousands of people who also suffered from it. They had four children and the youngest, Bodil, specialized in Physiology like her father. Additionally, she became the first woman President of the American Physiological Society in 1975.

Novo Nordisk is traveling at cruising speed today and has revolutionized the map of the most valuable companies in Europe. According to data reported by the newspaper Expansión and published by the Financial Times, the market capitalization of Novo Nordisk, 410 billion dollars, already exceeds the annual GDP of Denmark, 400 billion last year. The Danish economy grew by 1.7% in the first half of this year when compared to the same period in 2022. But if the pharmaceutical sector in which Novo Nordisk dominates is excluded, GDP would have fallen by 0.3%. This fact means that there is some fear due to the excessive dependence that the country has on pharmaceutical companies and particularly on this company. The company has also announced the launch of a technology headquarters in Madrid.