January 17, 2020 / 4:52 PM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 2-Novo Nordisk's diabetes pill Rybelsus to be covered by Express Scripts

(Adds Express Scripts relationship to Cigna, related story links)

COPENHAGEN, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk's new diabetes pill, Rybelsus, will be covered by Express Scripts Holding Co, one of the largest U.S. pharmacy benefit managers, the Danish drugmaker said on Friday.

Pharmacy benefit managers act as middlemen in the drug supply chain, and negotiate discounts on drugs on behalf of health insurers. Express Scripts is part of U.S. health benefits manager Cigna Corp.

Depending on the discounts drugmakers are willing to provide, pharmacy benefits managers make decisions about which drugs to include in coverage plans.

Novo Nordisk declined to comment on what discounts it had offered.

The news, first reported by Danish daily Børsen on Friday, was confirmed to Reuters by a Novo Nordisk spokesman.

Reporting by Stine Jacobsen, additional reporting by Caroline Humer in New York; editing by Jason Neely and Nick Zieminski

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