Senate Panel to Vote on Subpoena for Ozempic Maker Executive

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has announced that a vote will be held on June 18 on whether to subpoena a senior executive from Novo Nordisk to appear before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

The vote will consider a subpoena for Doug Langa, executive vice president of North America Operations for the multinational firm, to testify about the cost of drugs Ozempic and Wegovy in the United States.

Mr. Sanders, who chairs the HELP committee, made the announcement on June 11 and during a floor speech he outlined the price differences between what pharmaceutical companies charge patients in the United States versus other countries. In many cases, the price was largely increased, as much as quadruple for patients in the United States.

Mr. Sanders said Novo Nordisk charges Americans $969 for the diabetes and obesity medication Ozempic, but its as low as $59 in Germany.

The senator said that one in four Americans cannot afford to fill their prescriptions, while the pharmaceutical companies brought in roughly $110 billion in profits and tens of billions in stock buybacks and dividends in 2023.

The lawmaker said that the best way to change the current pricing schedule is to hold executives accountable.

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“We have, in my view, a moral responsibility to ensure that every American with diabetes or obesity who receives a prescription for Ozempic or Wegovy can afford to purchase those drugs,” Mr. Sanders said.

The HELP Committee chairman said the committee had invited executives at Novo Nordisk to testify about the prices being charged in the United States.

“I look forward to the presence of the leadership of Novo Nordisk at a HELP Committee hearing on July 10th.”

A representative from Novo Nordisk told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that their company has cooperated with Mr. Sanders and said a subpoena is “unnecessary.”

According to the spokesperson, the company’s CEO has voluntarily testified in the past and has participated in conversations with Mr. Sanders and his staff, including agreeing to brief the chairman.

The company also stated that Mr. Langa is not the global CEO and does not have control over international pricing decisions.

“Every time the Chairman has made a request to Novo Nordisk, we have responded and cooperated,” the spokesperson told The Epoch Times. “On multiple occasions, we have communicated our CEO’s willingness to testify and offered several dates for a hearing.

“We are committed to a hearing that aligns with the Chairman’s established committee practices and to developing meaningful solutions to enhance patient access and affordability.”

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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