Novo Nordisk to end German sales of new insulin drug after price row
Denmark’s Novo Nordisk, the world’s biggest insulin producer, is to stop selling its new long-acting insulin drug Tresiba in Germany following a row over pricing.
The decision is the latest example of tensions between drugmakers and healthcare providers, many of whom are unhappy about the high cost of modern medicines.
Novo said on Wednesday it had taken the decision after failing to agree a price in negotiations with the GKV-Spitzenverband, the German national association of statutory health insurance funds.
Some 40,000 German diabetics currently use Tresiba and the company said it would continue supplying the product until the end of September 2015 in order to allow for a safe switch to another insulin drug.
Tresiba has been recognized by the European Medicines Agency as offering important benefits, Novo said, but the GKV-Spitzenverband had decided to set the price at the level of ordinary human insulin, a product launched in the 1980s.
“If we were to accept this price, we would undermine our ability to research and develop medical innovations for people with diabetes,” said executive vice president Jakob Riis.
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler, editing by David Evans)