Novo Nordisk has agreed to resume supplies of its modern insulins to Greece after the country announced a lesser price cut than it originally proposed.

A fortnight ago, the Greek government announced plans to cut drug prices by 25% in a bid to deal with its massive debt crisis. Novo responded by saying the rises were unacceptable and said it would withdraw supplies of 17 of its most advanced products on a temporary basis. The Danish drugmaker refused to implement the price cuts on its modern insulin products and those administered through pen injection systems.

The government has now issued a new price bulletin for 48 insulin products, including Novo’s modern insulin products and pen-based insulins. The company emailed PharmaTimes World News saying that “it is unclear to us how these new prices have been calculated” and they are higher than those dictated by the decree which took effect on May 3. They are lower than the average of the three lowest prices in Europe, “which we have argued is a reasonable price level”.

However, the Greek authorities have now stated they will base future prices on the aforementioned average in an upcoming price decree, which it plans to have in place by September 1 at the latest. Novo says “this gives us confidence that we will reach a long-term solution through the dialogue we will be having with the government about the decree”.

The Bagsvaerd, Copenhagen-headquartered firm added that “to ensure that people with diabetes in Greece can continue to have access to our most modern insulin products, we have therefore accepted the new temporary prices”, which are thought to be in the region of 10% rather than 25%. As a result, “we expect that all pharmacies will soon be able to deliver the full range of Novo Nordisk insulin products in Greece”.