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HomeDenmarkDenmark Could Help More Patients With Wegovy Cost if Novo Pays Too...

Denmark Could Help More Patients With Wegovy Cost if Novo Pays Too -Minister

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Denmark’s government could help cover the cost of hugely popular weight-loss drug Wegovy for more people with severe obesity if its Danish maker, Novo Nordisk, also contributes some funding, Health Minister Sophie Lohde said on Friday.

Her comments are the latest sign that governments are weighing the cost of paying for the weekly injection against the benefits for the economy and healthcare system of having a healthier population.

Wegovy, the first-to-market in a new class of highly effective weight-loss drugs, has also been found to have a clear cardiovascular benefit.

Millions of patients have already paid for the drug which can cost as much as $1,000 per month in the United States, the biggest market in which it is currently available.

Wegovy has also been launched in Denmark, Norway, Germany, Britain and Iceland, although supplies are constrained.

But Novo now aims to convince European governments that have traditionally treated weight-loss treatments as lifestyle drugs to pay for Wegovy for those who need it most or who cannot afford it.

In Denmark, where Novo Nordisk is headquartered, a risk-sharing scheme in operation since last year allows the state to reimburse the cost of Wegovy for a certain number of people with severe obesity.

Health minister Lohde said in parliament on Friday that if prescriptions for patients in that target group exceed the agreed number, the additional cost will be shared between Novo Nordisk and the state, but did not elaborate.

Novo confirmed an application for reimbursement of Wegovy was being reviewed by the Danish Medicines Agency but declined to give further details.

“We continue to hope that a solution can be found as in other countries, where access to medication against severe obesity is ensured through reimbursements for a limited group of patients,” the company said in a statement.

Denmark’s largest private health insurer said in April it will stop reimbursing the cost of weight loss medication from January next year due to high demand.

Danes currently pay 1,300-2,300 Danish crowns ($189-$335) a month for the drug.

The Danish Medicines Agency last year rejected an application from Novo for reimbursement for patients with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 and co-morbidities.

The Danish health ministry said in August that reimbursing Wegovy for the roughly 900,000 Danes with a BMI of 30 or above would cost 23.9-27.9 billion Danish crowns each year.

Source: Reuters

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