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Sanofi sues Novo Nordisk over diabetes drugs in U.S.

Staff Writer |
Sanofi has filed a lawsuit in the United States accusing Novo Nordisk of falsely claiming that Sanofi insulin drugs would no longer be available for many U.S. patients so it could promote its competing drug.

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The complaint, filed by Sanofi US in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, seeks an order forcing Novo Nordisk to pay unspecified money damages and withdraw marketing materials for its drug Tresiba.

The marketing materials urge doctors and patients to switch from Sanofi's drugs Lantus and Toujeo, used to treat diabetes, to Tresiba, according to Sanofi, because the Sanofi drugs will be "blocked" by U.S. pharmacy benefit manager CVS Caremark in January.

Sanofi said CVS is replacing the drugs with Eli Lilly's similar, cheaper drug Basaglar on its so-called standard formulary, a list of drugs that health insurance plans cover.

Many health plans do not use CVS' standard formulary, and some that do will likely continue to cover the Sanofi drugs, though patients will have to pay more for them, Sanofi said.

Sanofi also said it offers assistance to individuals to buy the drugs if their insurance does not cover them.

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