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PANAMA - Health & Education

Luis Enrique Cisneros

Country Manager, Novo Nordisk, Panama

Bio

Luis Enrique Cisneros started his career at Janssen Pharmaceuticals in 1994, heading positions in sales, marketing, and training in both Mexico and Argentina. He joined Novo Nordisk in October 2010, responsible for marketing, sales, access, and medical affairs for Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia, and Venezuela. In 2015 he was appointed as General Manager of Novo Nordisk for Central America and Caribbean-CLAT operations. In 2016 he was responsible for opening the Novo Nordisk CLAT head office in Panama and in 2020-21 five additional south American countries were included into CLAT operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) and an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas and an executive MBA from Tec De Monterrey in Mexico.

"Diabetes is a chronic condition recognized as a disease for centuries and a little over 100 years ago it could be treated for the first time thanks to the discovery of insulin."
Novo Nordisk is committed to raising awareness around issues such as diabetes and obesity, all while targeting a zero-carbon footprint.
What factors have made society more aware on the risk of diabetes and obesity?

Diabetes is a chronic condition recognized as a disease for centuries and a little over 100 years ago it could be treated for the first time thanks to the discovery of insulin. As far as obesity is concerned, it was not until a few decades ago that the WHO recognized it as a disease and this has undoubtedly helped to increase the recognition of this condition as a disease in different countries of the world, from health authorities, health care professionals and society in general. If you asked 100 people in the street if they know what diabetes is, the vast majority will probably answer that it’s a health condition related to blood sugar levels. Few would ultimately dispute it being labeled as a disease that requires chronic treatment. On the flip side, if you ask people about obesity, there would be a much lower number of people categorizing it as a disease and would perhaps even over simply the complexity around it in their description of the condition. As a result of the pandemic we’ve been navigating since 2020, it has been proven that conditions such as obesity and diabetes have been directly linked to severe COVID cases, hospitalization, and ultimately an increased rate in mortality. This has generated greater awareness and need for action hoping that the general public and health agendas focus on these diseases as they are risk factors for many other diseases. We as a company are predominately focused on the area of diabetes and obesity and other chronic serious diseases, and as a result we have led the way in awareness around these diseases in the general public, so the complexities and the need to seek for care becomes more widely known. We use a variety of channels to do this, from social media to commemorating certain key dates. We have seen a positive change in this regard, primarily in the area of diabetes, but when it comes to obesity there is still a lot to be done to work on the bias and stigma that surrounds this topic and, in many ways, hinders the progress we hope to make in our vision to change the way the world sees, talks about, and treats obesity.

How are you working to achieve your commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030 in Panama?

Today, our offices are in one of Panama’s green buildings, powered by green energy—100% of the energy used is wind power, hydropower, or solar. The building is designed to absorb light to maintain its temperature. In Panama, we are also working to reduce our gas emissions and limit the number of flights we take. Instead, we rely on digital tools to communicate with our people in all the countries of Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. We’re also starting to move our company fleet vehicle to hybrid or electric options gradually to reach our goals in 2030 to have a 100% eco-friendly vehicle fleet. What are your goals for the coming year as you turn 100?
2023 is a particularly exciting year for us as we are set to celebrate our 100-year anniversary. We will run a series of events to commemorate this date and all we have been able to achieve in this time. We’re aware that world is facing troublesome times with economic and sociopolitical challenges, but it is our mission and vision to heal more patients with greater access to our medicines and to have a sustainable business not only for our employees but for our customers.

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