Sempre Health has announced that it is collaborating with Novo Nordisk on a pilot programme aimed at delivering cheaper diabetes drugs to patients.

Sempre Health’s ‘behaviour-based healthcare pricing platform’ adjusts the cost of medication over time based on patient adherence and compliance. In other words, if a patient takes medication and fills prescriptions on time, they are rewarded with cheaper prescriptions. The company says that this is to promote consistency when taking medication as well as lowering prices, as ‘taking diabetes medication as prescribed is tied to better clinical outcomes’.

Sempre Health will add diabetes medications produced by Novo Nordisk to its ‘affordability and engagement solution’, and will use its text messaging-based programme─in which patients receive texts reminding them to take medication and informing them of savings they could make through doing so─ and partnerships with national pharmacies to lower the cost of drugs for patients.

The two companies are seeking to engage 10,000 patients with diabetes on the Sempre Health platform in 2018.

Novo Nordisk corporate vice-president Steve Albers said: “This is the first of several innovations we plan to pilot to help reduce how much patients pay for their diabetes medicines at the pharmacy. And because consistently taking medicines is important for blood sugar control, we’re keen to see Sempre Health’s adherence approach support patients.”

Novo Nordisk, a leading supplier of diabetes drugs, was criticised by US politicians over its pricing in 2016. Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Elijah Cummings called for an investigation into whether the company, among others, had colluded over drug prices.  Since it started making human insulin in 1991, Novo Nordisk has reported raised prices by more than 240%.

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In November 2016, Novo Nordisk made a public commitment to finding solutions involving pricing stability and affordability.

Sempre Health CEO Anurati Mathur said: “We are excited to combine Sempre’s nuanced approach to affordability and adherence with Novo Nordisk’s innovative portfolio of medications. Savings are seamlessly applied to patients’ copays wherever they normally fill their prescriptions.”