Novo Nordisk takes Tresiba off German market

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Novo Nordisk is pulling its once-daily basal insulin Tresiba (insulin degludec) off the market in Germany, expressing disappointment at the low price being offered for the new treatment.

The Danish company has taken the decision after negotiations with the GKV-Spitzenverband, the German association of statutory health insurance funds. Novo executive vice president Jakob Riis said “we are very sad that it has not been possible to reach a price agreement with the insurance fund”.

He added that the benefits of Tresiba have been recognised by the European Medicines Agency among others but the fund decided nevertheless to set the price at the level of ordinary human insulin, “a product which was launched in the 1980s.” Mr Riis said that “if we were to accept this price, we would undermine our ability to research and develop medical innovations”.

Novo will keep supplying Tresiba to 40,000 patients in Germany until the end of September.