STATEMENT ON NOVO NORDISK CUTTING OFF ACCESS TO 340B PRICING THROUGH COMMUNITY-BASED PHARMACIES
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The pharmaceutical manufacturer Novo Nordisk yesterday announced that it no longer would offer statutory discounts to hospitals through the 340B drug pricing program on any of its drugs that are dispensed at community-based pharmacies.
The new policy, which is set to take effect Jan. 1, makes Novo Nordisk the sixth company to date that has announced such 340B restrictions despite a federal requirement to offer drug discounts to eligible providers. It also means that starting next year, safety-net hospitals no longer will have access to discounted pricing through community pharmacy arrangements on any insulin products distributed in the U.S. The drug manufacturers Eli Lilly and Sanofi previously started refusing 340B pricing through community pharmacies on all their products, including insulin.
The following statement is attributed to 340B Health President and CEO Maureen Testoni:
“The restrictions Novo Nordisk is putting in place are unconscionable, especially in light of the central role that 340B hospitals play in treating patients with diabetes,” Testoni said. “Safety-net hospitals rely on their program savings – including the discounts they obtain through their key partnerships with community-based pharmacies – to offer free or low-cost insulin as well as comprehensive disease management and education to their patients in need who are living with diabetes. Cutting off access to those crucial resources will harm the same patients whom Novo Nordisk’s top-selling products are designed to treat. Meanwhile, the prices of insulin and other drugs continue to skyrocket. For instance, the list price for a vial of the Novo Nordisk-manufactured insulin NovoLog increased 353% between 2001 and 2016.”
“We reiterate our call for Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to protect the health care safety net by protecting 340B. The secretary has the authority and the responsibility to block pharmaceutical manufacturers from sidestepping their requirements under federal law, and we urge him to act now.”
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