Lilly, BI's Jardiance still beats Novo’s Rybelsus when it comes to cost-effectiveness: ICER

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) started giving Novo Nordisk a hard time about the cost-effectiveness of its oral version of semaglutide, Rybelsus, before the drug was even approved in September. Now the product has its price tag— $772 per month, on par with comparable injectables—yet ICER still isn’t happy. ICER released a report Friday concluding that if Rybelsus is prescribed as an add-on treatment to metformin in Type 2 diabetes, it will be less cost-effective than Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance in the same setting. Rybelsus is the first GLP-1 receptor agonist that’s available in pill form, but Jardiance—a widely prescribed SGLT-2 inhibitor—is also an oral option. Hence “judging from the list price of oral semaglutide, its net price is likely to be much higher than that of competitor oral treatments…that appear to have similar benefits with fewer common side effects,” ICER said in a statement. ICER’s report came on the same day that Novo released its third-quarter earnings, and during a conference call with investors, chief financial officer Karsten Munk Knudsen griped that the cost-effectiveness review didn't take a broad enough approach. "Over decades, this is clearly cost-effective," he said of the new drug.

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