Danish drug manufacturer Novo Nordisk, which is best known for its leadership in diabetes care, will run operations in 73 countries with a population of about 1.6 billion people from its headquarters in Istanbul by making it the management hub of the company.

The world’s leading manufacturer of medicines for the treatment of diabetes, obesity, hemophilia and growth disorders has increased the number of countries it manages from Istanbul to 73, up from 22 in the last months of 2019, said the company’s Vice President, Emil Kongshøj Larsen in a recent interview.

From its headquarters in Istanbul, Novo Nordisk will now be managing the Middle East, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Africa (BANECA) business area with a combined population of approximately 1.6 billion people.

Its previous operations included a region of 22 countries, including Turkey, Russia, Israel, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Ukraine, and Jordan, with a combined population of approximately 680 million people.

Nearly 5 million patients in the Middle East, CIS, and African countries are currently expected to be treated with Novo Nordisk medicines, a number that is expected to increase steadily in the coming period due to rising rates of diabetes and obesity.

“In recent years, Turkey has become an excellent and increasingly critical base for Novo Nordisk because of its geographical location and strong logistics infrastructure,” said Larsen.

In 1995, the pharmaceutical giant entered the Turkish market. It had conducted operations in 11 countries in the Middle East region from Istanbul in the first stage, a figure that has grown to 22 in 2017, according to Larsen. The company had moved its headquarters from Athens, Greece, to Istanbul in 2007, according to Larsen, for whom the company had found Istanbul to be a more cosmopolitan hub because of both logistics and Turkish expertise.

“Istanbul is a more natural hub if you want to cover much of the Middle East, the CIS countries, and Africa. And it has proven to be a success. Because of the success of the hub, we have expanded the geographical area over the years,” he added.

In reference to what he said, there were other reasons behind the company’s move to make Istanbul the management hub of the company. The Vice President of Novo Nordisk said: “it is the appreciation of the company’s highly skilled and innovative workforce that makes it open to change, in addition to the geographical advantages of managing operations in Turkey’s largest city.”

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