Novo Nordisk today joined Eli Lilly and Co., AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Novartis, and United Therapeutics in imposing conditions on provision of 340B pricing on products dispensed by contract pharmacies. Today’s announcement means all three U.S. domestic suppliers of insulin (Lilly, Sanofi, and Novo Nordisk) have adopted such policies.
Novo Nordisk Will Cease 340B Pricing for Hospital Contract Pharmacies on Jan. 1
Drug manufacturer Novo Nordisk announced late today that beginning Jan. 1 it “will no longer facilitate ‘bill-to/ship-to’ distribution of 340B product to a contract pharmacy of any of the six ‘hospital’ covered entity types.”
The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) told 340B Report it “is aware of Novo Nordisk’s plan and is in the process of reviewing and determining next steps.”
A notice dated Dec. 1 on the company website states:
Beginning on January 1, 2021, Novo Nordisk Inc. (labeler codes 00169 and 71090) and Novo Nordisk Pharma, Inc. (labeler code 73070) ) (Novo Nordisk Inc. and Novo Nordisk Pharma, Inc. are collectively referred to herein as “Novo Nordisk”) will no longer facilitate “bill-to/ship-to” distribution of 340B product to a contract pharmacy of any of the six “hospital” covered entity types.
If a “hospital” covered entity does not have an in-house pharmacy capable of dispensing product to outpatients, that covered entity may designate one contract pharmacy location to which product purchased by that covered entity may be shipped.
A hospital covered entity that does not maintain an on-site pharmacy at either a parent or child location may contact Novo Nordisk at 340BInfo@novonordisk.com to designate a single contract pharmacy location to accept bill-to/ship-to orders.
Novo Nordisk’s new policy will not deny access to 340B-priced covered outpatient drugs to any “hospital” covered entity. Each may purchase as much Novo Nordisk product at the discounted 340B price that it wishes. At no time will Novo Nordisk fail to offer 340B prices to each and every 340B covered entity. It is merely the Novo Nordisk-facilitated shipment of that product to contract pharmacies (which are not themselves covered entities) that will be curtailed as of January 1, 2021.
None of the “grantee” covered entity types are impacted by this change in policy. Novo Nordisk will continue to facilitate contract pharmacy “bill-to/ship-to” arrangements for these covered entities. All “grantees,” including Community Health Centers, Ryan White HIV Clinics, Hemophilia Treatment Centers, Indian Health Centers, and all other grantee covered entity types, may continue to place orders for Novo Nordisk product and have them shipped to their registered contract pharmacies, without limitation.
Questions about this policy change should be directed to 340BInfo@novonordisk.com
Novo Nordisk joins drug manufacturers Eli Lilly and Co., AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Novartis, and United Therapeutics in imposing conditions on provision of 340B pricing on products dispensed by contract pharmacies. United Therapeutics announced its policy on Nov. 18.
Today’s announcement, which will escalate the battle over contract pharmacy restrictions, means that all three U.S. domestic suppliers of insulin (Lilly, Sanofi, and Novo Nordisk) have adopted such policies.
While Novo Nordisk’s decision to spare federal grantees from the restrictions may provide some solace, national groups representing the grantee community are expected to criticize the move as another attempt by the drug industry to unilaterally changes the rules to long-standing 340B policy.
Novo Nordisk’s decision will increase pressure on the Trump administration to act quickly to block and sanction the drug manufacturers that have placed restrictions on contract pharmacies. Whether the administration is willing to take that step remains unclear.