The diabetes specialist Novo Nordisk has joined the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry for the first time in its history.

This comes as the ABPI enters the final stages of negotiations with the UK Government over its new value-based pricing drug pricing plans, which are set to come into force from January 2014.

Novo Nordisk is a member of the European Medicines Group – which advises and lobbies European-based pharma firms working in the UK – but has never been a member of the ABPI until now.

Peter Meeus, UK general manager of Novo Nordisk, said: “As a growing player in the UK pharmaceutical market, we felt the time was right to join the ABPI. The ABPI has undergone real transformation in recent years and we are confident that as our business continues to grow in the UK, ABPI engagement will complement what we are doing to ensure we are better positioned to face the challenges and the opportunities in an increasingly dynamic business setting for the UK pharmaceutical industry.”

Stephen Whitehead, chief executive of the ABPI, welcomed Novo Nordisk’s decision to join the ABPI: “Novo Nordisk is a very welcome and important addition to our membership and will further strengthen the ABPI as the voice of the pharmaceutical industry. Novo Nordisk has joined a full service membership organisation that continues to shape the environment to make the UK an attractive destination for the research and development of life changing medicines.

“We will be looking to support them and our wider membership to ensure that once a medicine has been approved for use in the UK, the NHS is able to adopt it and patients can fully realise its benefits.”