Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Novo Nordisk CEO Will Explain To American Senators Why Ozempic Costs 15x More In The U.S. Than, Say, In Germany

From Ars Technica, June 17:

Drugmaker to testify on why weight-loss drugs cost 15x more in the US
Bernie Sanders cancels subpoena vote.

After some persuasion from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the CEO of Novo Nordisk will testify before lawmakers later this year on the "outrageously high cost" of the company's diabetes and weight-loss drugs—Ozempic and Wegovy—in the US.

CEO Lars Jørgensen will appear before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), which is chaired by Sanders, in early September. The agreement came after a conversation with Sanders in which the CEO reportedly "reconsidered his position" and agreed to testify voluntarily. As such, Sanders has canceled a vote scheduled for June 18 on whether to subpoena Novo Nordisk to discuss its US prices, which are considerably higher than those of other countries.

The independent lawmaker has been working for months to pressure Novo Nordisk into lowering its prices and appearing before the committee. In April, Sanders sent Jørgensen a letter announcing an investigation into the prices and included a lengthy set of information requests. In May, the committee's investigation released a report suggesting that Novo Nordisk's current pricing threatens to "bankrupt our entire health care system."

Sanders has repeatedly hammered not only the high prices of Novo Nordisk's two blockbuster drugs but also the huge disparity between US prices and those in other countries.

Up to 15x more in the US
"Novo Nordisk currently charges Americans with type 2 diabetes $969 a month for Ozempic, while this same exact drug can be purchased for just $155 in Canada and just $59 in Germany," Sanders wrote in April. "Novo Nordisk also charges Americans with obesity $1,349 a month for Wegovy, while this same exact product can be purchased for just $140 in Germany and $92 in the United Kingdom."....


Bringing to mind a poem:

A.D. 980-1016

IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
   To call upon a neighbour and to say: –
"We invaded you last night – we are quite prepared to fight,
   Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
   And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
   And then  you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
   To puff and look important and to say: –
"Though we know we should defeat you,  we have not the time to meet you.
   We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
   But we've  proved it again and  again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
   You never get rid of the Dane.....
Dane Geld, Rudyard Kipling 

He was opposed to being played for a chump.