The Longer Read

How a Danish businessman made his country fat on the success of slimming ‘wonder-drug’ Wegovy

He’s more likely to be found kayaking than on a superyacht (he doesn’t own one) but Danish businessman Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen, the man who invented the anti-obesity drug Wegovy, is worth more than the entire GDP of his homeland. Chris Blackhurst on the great Dane who’s slimming the world, one pill at a time...

Tuesday 12 September 2023 18:02 BST
<p>Kim Kardashian was among those who rushed to try the drug </p>

Kim Kardashian was among those who rushed to try the drug

If Danes were given to superstition they would be waving every lucky charm going in the direction of Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen. More, they should be giving him daily thanks and checking on his health.

For Jorgensen, 56, has transformed their entire economy. It sounds bizarre, that one individual can account for so much – Denmark is a country after all of six million people with a land mass of 16,580 square miles, making it 130th in the world by size. Its capital, Copenhagen is one of the biggest cities in Europe.

One guy, come on. But it’s true. The balding, bespectacled, soberly dressed Jorgensen is chief executive of Novo Nordisk, the laboratory that has seen its two flagship products, Ozempic used to treat diabetes, and Wegovy, anti-obesity, take the world by storm. As a result, his company’s market capitalisation of 2.9 billion kroner (over €400bn) has outgrown Denmark’s GDP of 2.8 billion kroner.

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