Insulin Maker Cuts Off Supply to Greece
UPI Business News - May. 29, 2010
Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk says it has cut off the supply of insulin to Greece over a government order that all medicine prices be slashed 25 percent.
Novo Nordisk, the world’s leading supplier of the diabetes drug insulin, is pulling the drug from the Greek market because the mandated price cut would force the company’s Greek division to operate at a loss, a spokesman for the company told the BBC. The company said it also worried other countries could look to Greece’s example when setting drug prices.
More than 50,000 Greek diabetics rely on Novo Nordisk’s insulin, which is injected with a device that resembles a pen.
Novo Nordisk’s move drew condemnation in Greece, the where the Greek Diabetes Association called it brutal blackmail" and "a violation of corporate social responsibility."
Greece said it imposed the price cut as part of an effort to cut medical costs as the country struggles to reduce its debt.
Pavlos Panayotacos, whose 10-year-old daughter, Nephele, has diabetes, criticized Novo Nordisk in a letter to its chairman.
"As an economist I realize the importance of making a profit, but healthcare is more than just the bottom line," he wrote.
"As you well may know, Greece is presently in dire economic and social straits, and you could not have acted in a more insensitive manner at a more inopportune time."
Why should you be concerned about this? Because pharmaceutical drug prices and production are impacted on a global scale. Should the US government begin to impose these kind of price cuts here in the US that Greece is imposing, we will begin to see a reduction in the drugs offered here in the states. For example, instead of having 5 different kinds of Type 2 diabetes medications to choose from, we may only have one which may or may not work for you. We live in a world where we have freedom of CHOICE. We are slowly seeing this choice taken away by government. Watch carefully what is happeing internationally. Our government behavior is behaving similarly to that of Europe, Greece, Mexico, and Venezuela in many ways. Be informed. Read. Watch. Listen. Do not be a passive participant and take what you hear at face value. Trust but validate.