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Sanders looks to subpoena Novo Nordisk president

Jun 11, 2024
Senate HELP Chair Bernie Sanders

Sanders. Photo: Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images

Senate HELP Chairman Bernie Sanders said today the committee will vote next Tuesday on subpoenaing the president of Novo Nordisk to testify on pricing for its blockbuster anti-obesity drugs Ozempic and Wegovy.

Why it matters: It is an escalation in Sanders' pressure campaign to lower the prices for the blockbuster drugs, which sell for considerably less abroad.

What they're saying: "The American people — Democrats, Republicans and independents — are sick and tired of paying, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs," Sanders said.

  • He said the U.S. prices of Wegovy and Ozempic were far higher than the prices paid in other countries.
  • The committee sought voluntary testimony, but the company had refused, he said.

The other side: A representative from Novo Nordisk said the company had offered a range of dates to voluntarily testify alongside other stakeholders in the drug pricing system, such as PBMs.

  • The company said it had been responsive to Sanders' staff and that a subpoena is "unnecessary."

What's next: Earlier this year, Sanders scheduled a subpoena vote for other drug company executives, but ended up canceling it when they agreed to voluntarily testify.

  • Subpoenas are very rare for the HELP Committee.
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