Chair of U.S. Senate health committee demands maker of weight-loss drugs, most popular in Kentucky, cut their prices by two-thirds

Axios Visuals map, adapted by Kentucky Health News; click it to enlarge.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who chairs the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee says the maker of two popular diabetes and weight-loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy should lower their list prices of “to no more than what they charge for this drug in Canada,” The Washington Post reports.
Sanders, an independent who votes with Democrats, “is demanding that Novo Nordisk slash the prices of its blockbuster drugs Ozempic and Wegovy, citing a new study on the manufacturing costs of the diabetes and weight-loss medications,” the Post reports.

Kentucky leads the nation in the percentage (about 2.1%) of residemts who have received a prescription for one of the new drugs created to fight obesity and diabetes, which can also aid weight loss.
“Researchers found that a month’s supply of semaglutide — the active ingredient in both drugs — could be manufactured for an estimated 89 cents to $4.73,” the Post reports, but “Novo Nordisk charges $935.77 for four weekly injections of Ozempic in the United States, while it costs about $300 per month out-of-pocket in Canada.”
In response, a Novo Nordisk spokesperson didn’t address manufacturing costs but said the Danish company offers several ways to help patients and “supports changes in policy to improve patient affordability and access for those living with chronic diseases,” the Post reports.

Kentucky Health News is an independent news service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

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