Novo issues bullish sales forecast

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Danish diabetes giant Novo Nordisk said it expects to more than double its revenue within the decade, as the surging incidence of diabetes expands demand for its products.

As deputy chief executive Kaare Schultz told Reuters, “Today we handle more than 20 million patients. In 10 years, hopefully [we] will treat about 40 million patients,” adding, “We expect to continue to increase [revenue] by around 10% per year over the next 10 to 20 years.”

Sales could rise faster, Schultz told the news service, if Novo gets approval in the US for basal insulin Tresiba and for liraglutide for treating obesity.

The company's revenue rose 23% in the US last year to $7.9 billion, and surged 13% globally to $15.5 billion. So far, 2014 is off to a slow start, however: first-quarter sales rose only 7% after the drugmaker lost two contracts to supply a US pharmacy group.

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