Novo Nordisk CEO: 'Patients shouldn't pay list price for our drugs'
Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen believes too many American patients are forced to pay large bills for their diabetes treatments, reports Bloomberg.
The current drug pricing system — where drug companies set list prices and offer undisclosed rebates to pharmacy benefit manufactures — leads to patients paying large out-of-pocket costs until their coverage enacts, according to the report.
"It was never the intention that individual patients should end up paying the list price," Mr. Jorgenson told Bloomberg during a March 14 interview. "I have a big problem with that."
Mr. Jorgensen admitted Novo Nordisk's rebates to PBMs and other middlemen represented 59 percent of its gross sales in the U.S. He believes drugmakers — including Novo Nordisk — and pharmacy benefit manufacturers must fix the problems associated with the American drug pricing system. If they don't regulators will "come and solve it for [them]," he told Bloomberg.
Novo Nordisk is partnering with Wal-Mart to offer cheaper insulin to patients, bringing total treatment costs to about $1 a day, according to the report. The company also vowed to limit any increases to the list prices of drugs to under 10 percent.
"We are committed to working with the (pharmacy benefit managers) in addressing this problem," Jorgensen told Bloomberg. "If we don't do that as an industry, we are going to lose — big time — the trust of society."
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