Around 500 of the cut positions will be in Denmark, the Bagsværd-based company said.
“This is one of several actions taken to reduce operating costs as the company faces a challenging competitive environment in 2017, especially in its large US market,” Novo Nordisk said in a statement.
Novo Nordisk's shares plunged last month when the firm, which controls nearly half of the global insulin market, announced it was facing intense pressure from firms that manage prescription drug services between health insurers and insured patients in the United States and lowered its growth forecast.
The company's shares have fallen by more than 20 percent since the start of August.
On Thursday, the firm said it was sticking to its August forecast of sales growth between five and seven percent this year in local currencies, and an increase in operating profit of between five and eight percent.
The firm said the job cuts, about 2.4 percent of its current staff of 42,300, are expected to fall in research and development and headquarter staff functions, as well as positions in the global commercial organisation.
Chief executive Lars Rebien Sorensen expressed regret at having to take the difficult decision of letting staff go.
“However, we have concluded that it is needed in order for us to have a sustainable balance between income and costs,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.