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HomeTips & TricksUS Ozempic Prices Over 1000% Higher Compared to the UK

US Ozempic Prices Over 1000% Higher Compared to the UK

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The US FDA has been at the center of a recent debate about the high price of one of the most popular diabetes drugs, Ozempic. A prime example of an effective drug that has been prescribed in recent years is Ozempic. It is an injectable non-insulin medicine used for the management of type 2 diabetes.

A picture of Ozempic insulin
Source: Pinterest

However, the high cost remains a significant concern associated with it, particularly in the United States.

Ozempic Prices in the USA

Currently, the average monthly cost of Ozempic in the United States may vary between $850 and $1400. 

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This is so even though the UK government negotiated for a price of £26. 65 (about $35) for the vaccine dose for the National Health Service (NHS).

1000% Price Increase

To illustrate this, the Ozempic price in the United States is more than double what the UK pays for the drug. This means that the price that American patients are paying to access these drugs is slightly above thirteen times that of British patients.

A picture of Ozempic insulin
Source: Pinterest

Therefore, what could be the cause of this rather large price difference between the two countries? That is so, but there are several factors at work.

Patent Exclusivity

Some causes as to why there is a variation of prices include Patent exclusivity. At the moment, Ozempic is produced by Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical corporation. The corporation has the right to protect the medication till 2025 in the United States of America.

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A picture of Ozempic insulin
Source: Pinterest

This implies that other companies cannot develop a similar product to that of Novo Nordisk. Hence, monopolizing the market and fixing high prices for their product.

ALSO READ: Ozempic Creator Faces Multiple Lawsuits Due to the Drug’s Horrifying Side Effects

Novo Nordisk CEO Appears Before the Senate 

To justify the significant premium that Americans pay over Britons and Europeans, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen has now offered to testify before the U.S. Senate. 

A picture of Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen
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A monthly prescription for Wegovy costs about $1,349 in the United States. Ozempic from Novo Nordisk costs only $92 in the United Kingdom and $140 in Germany.

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Price Negotiation

On the other hand, the UK government has direct control over the prices of medicines through the National Health Service (NHS) contractual agreements with pharmaceutical companies. This is the process through which prices are kept low for patients through negotiation.

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Another reason that contributes to the high price of the same product in the US is that their market lacks competition. Thus far there is no generic solution, which is why Novo Nordisk can adjust its prices as it deems fit.

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Americans Request for a Change 

Sen. Bernie Sanders’s Health, Education, Labour, and Pensions Committee was scheduled to vote on Novo Nordisk President Doug Langa’s behalf. This requires him to testify before the committee. 

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The American people are fed up with big pharmaceutical firms who rip them off with their enormous profits each year. Also, charging exorbitant costs, as mentioned by Sanders in a prepared statement.

High Demand

There is an increasing demand for Ozempic, especially for patients with type 2 diabetes who need Insulin to manage their conditions. This makes the prices rise due to the demand for such products.

A picture of Ozempic insulin
Source: Pinterest

Ozempic is very expensive, which points to the importance of changes in the US healthcare system. It is common knowledge that most patients cannot afford this important drug, and steps should be taken to redress the situation.

CEO To Defend the Price

If the Senators had voted in favor of Langa, he would have faced them. However, to justify the policy, the CEO of Novo Nordisk, Jørgensen, will be available before the committee in September 2024.

A picture of the US Senate house
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Sanders says that Novo Nordisk is the newest victim in an ongoing war with the pharmaceutical sector. It has been aggressive in its efforts to protect income while disregarding people.

Patient Advocacy Groups

Several patient advocacy groups are also unwilling to turn a blind eye to the high cost of Ozempic and demanding change.

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Such criticism has been refuted by Novo Nordisk. Thereby stating that they invest heavily in research and development and their prices are consistent with the value of the products they are selling.

WATCH: McDonald’s Announces Plans To Win Back Low-Income Customers Who Left Over New Prices

Healthcare Concern 

Access To affordable Ozempic in the United States remains a topic of concern due to the high prices charged for the medication. 

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This has become an issue of debate in which patients and healthcare providers are urging the policymakers and the manufacturers to find a solution. 

A Call to Order 

A German pharmaceutical corporation called Merck, which also makes diabetes treatment, was also criticized by Sanders in his statements. 

A picture representation of a pharmaceutical business
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Jørgensen replied to Sanders in May 2024, citing the U.S. medical system as the reason for the significant price disparity with Europe. This is as a result of the senator’s previous criticism.

Ozempic List Price 

Wegovy and Ozempic’s list prices were only approximately 60% of what the pharmaceutical business claimed. This is according to the report, because some of its revenue in the US went to middlemen. Also, in the UK or Europe, this distinction is not made. 

A picture of a pharmacist
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A seminal investigation into the expenses of creating the Ozempic undermined Novo’s claim that the U.S. medical care system was to blame for its stringent pricing policy.

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