Sep 25, 2023 - News

Contamination found at Novo Nordisk's Johnston County plant, report says

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Novo Nordisk — the drugmaker behind the popular weight-loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy — has been having trouble with its factory in Clayton, one of the largest employers in Johnston County.

Driving the news: Federal inspectors discovered bacteria in batches of Novo Nordisk's main ingredients for a diabetes drug, Rybelsus, that is made at the Clayton plant, the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • According to a report viewed by the newspaper, the Food and Drug Administration visited the site in July and found its safety controls were deficient.
  • Yes, but: The FDA said it doesn't have ongoing concerns about the safety of drugs made at the plant.

Meanwhile: Novo Nordisk is currently struggling to keep up with demand for products that rely on ingredients made at the Johnston County plant.

  • The plant makes the drug ingredient semaglutide, which has seen a rapid increase in demand due to surging popularity of Ozempic and Wegovy.

Why it matters: The Danish pharmaceutical giant is one of the biggest manufacturing employers in the Triangle, employing nearly 2,000 people throughout the region.

  • It's also in the process of potentially expanding its Johnston County factory after recently buying 104 acres adjacent to its facilities there.

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