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Bernie Sanders wants to make Ozempic cheaper

Bernie Sanders wants to make Ozempic cheaper
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders said the price of Ozempic is "outrageously high."

  • He wants to meet with Novo Nordisk's CEO, Bloomberg reports.

  • A recent study found that Ozempic can be made for less than $5 per month — but it costs nearly $1,000.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is outraged by the price of Ozempic — so much that he wants to meet with the CEO of its maker, pharma giant Novo Nordisk, Bloomberg reports.

Sanders, who is considering hearings on the issue, wants to first talk to Novo chief Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen about cutting the list prices of GLP-1 drugs Ozempic and Wegovy, according to Bloomberg.

Sanders — who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee — was responding to a new study by the medical journal JAMA Network published Wednesday, which found that Ozempic "can likely be manufactured for prices far below current prices, enabling wider access."

"A new Yale study found that Ozempic costs less than $5 a month to manufacture," Sanders said in a statement. "And yet, Novo Nordisk charges Americans nearly $1,000 a month for this drug, while the same exact product can be purchased for just $155 a month in Canada and just $59 in Germany."

A Novo spokesperson told Business Insider, "We do not have insight into whether or not Senator Sanders will be meeting our CEO."

While acknowledging that "affordability challenges are real," the company said that "the majority of U.S. patients covered by commercial health plans pay $25 or less a month for their prescriptions."

Novo Nordisk also spent $5 billion on R&D globally in 2023, the company said.

Sanders said in his statement that Ozempic "has the potential to be a game changer in the diabetes and obesity epidemics in America."

But, in addition to being unaffordable to millions who need it, the "outrageously" high price "has the potential to bankrupt Medicare, the American people and our entire health care system."

A representative for Sanders did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BI.

Drugs like Ozempic, its weight-management approved version Wegovy, and competing medication like Zepbound have not just shaken up not just dieting culture, but could also reshape the broader economy, BI previously reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider