NEW YORK — Largely due to continued strong sales of its antidiabetic and weight loss drug Victoza, the pharmaceutical Novo Nordisk’s share price increased by 39 percent in 2015.

Observers had predicted a lean year for Novo Nordisk, due to the introduction of a competing antidiabetic drug by another manufacturer. But unexpectedly lackluster Afrezza sales did not cut into Victoza’s market share, and its sales increased 21 percent.

Other similar company products, such as Levemir and Tresiba, also experienced robust sales, though to a lesser extent. Eighty percent of Novo Nordisk’s revenue comes from antidiabetic drugs like Victoza.

The International Diabetes Federation estimates that there will be 642 million diabetics worldwide by 2040.

New Drugs

Profitability in this sector is strictly a numbers game. Only about three in ten new drugs are profitable, so the more medicine that is rushed off the factory floor, the happier shareholders become.

The hits are nearly always home runs. The pharmaceutical industry has an average profit margin that is rivaled only by banks, and the highest profit margins are stratospheric (42 percent as compared to 29 percent).

Ironically, many drug makers may prefer to sell medicines that have a number of side effects, because the serious side effects can be hidden along with the mild ones. Some consumers also associate a large number of side effects with a drug’s potency and effectiveness, thus increasing demand for the drug.

Victoza Side Effects

This drug slows the digestive process, which causes an imbalance in the body’s blood sugar level. The Food and Drug Administration has linked Victoza to a number of possibly fatal side effects, including pancreatitis and cancerous tumors. There is an established link between Victoza and thyroid tumors in animals, and a probable link between Victoza and medullary cancer.

Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, is always incredibly painful and sometimes deadly. Other possible side-effects include hypoglycemia, loss of consciousness, extreme weakness, and irregular heartbeat.

Our Victoza Attorneys Can Help

Our dangerous drug lawyers help if you or someone you care about was harmed while taking this medication. Lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer by both patients and their families seeking compensation for injuries caused by the dangerous drug. You may be entitled to a cash settlement.

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