FRANKFURT Dec 13 Bristol-Myers Squibb
and AstraZeneca said they would pull a new diabetes drug
from the German market because they had failed to agree on a
price with a body of medical insurers.
The decision to stop marketing oral drug dapagliflozin in
Germany comes just a day after it was endorsed by an advisory
panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The two companies said in a joint statement on Friday that
the new drug, which had already been launched in Europe under
the brand name Forxiga, would no longer be delivered to Germany
from Dec. 15.
The two companies could not agree on a price for Forxiga in
negotiations with the German association of statutory medical
insurers and are pulling the drug even as a round of mediation
"AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb will reconsider their
decision to stop distribution of Forxiga after the mediation
procedure is concluded," they said, adding that other European
countries were not affected by the move.
Before price negotiations started, an advisory panel of
medical experts and insurance representatives failed to see any
additional benefits from the drug compared with standard
Germany in 2011 started comparing the benefits of newly
approved drugs with those of existing treatments and gave
medical insurers more bargaining power in price talks with drug
This has prompted a number of companies to refrain from a
market launch in Germany, such as Boehringer Ingelheim and
partner Eli Lilly, who chose to not sell their diabetes
drug Trajenta there.
Forxiga blocks SGLT2, a protein that works independently of
insulin to lower blood sugar. By blocking the kidney from
reabsorbing blood sugar, the drug spurs removal of glucose
through the urine.