Friday 16 August 2019 3:31 pm

Novo Nordisk faces £1.4bn lawsuit over US insulin reporting

Pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk has been hit with a nearly 12bn Danish krone (£1.4bn) lawsuit by shareholders, it confirmed today.

The case, which was filed earlier in a Copenhagen court, alleges that the company did not make the “appropriate disclosures regarding its sales of insulin products in the USA”.

Read more: Astrazeneca share price rises as new cancer drugs boost sales

Shareholders are looking for 11.8bn krone, a figure based on trading of the company’s shares over two years starting February 2015.

Novo Nordisk said it “disagrees” with the allegations and is “prepared to defend the company in this matter.”

The suit was brought by 260 pension funds which claim Novo did not reveal the truth behind its increased US sales.

Their lawyer, Thomas Ryhl, told Reuters that Novo’s insulin revenue grew from 2015 and 2017. But meanwhile rebates to pharmacy benefit managers rose at the same pace.

“Actually, Novo’s profits from its insulin sales dropped, even though prices and sales increased,” he said.

The suit failed to hit shares, with Novo trading up 2.2 per cent at around 3.20pm UK time.

Read more: Astrazeneca promises cash to back up £12m redundancy payments for former staff

“It is a very complex case and it’s not black-and-white. I am far from certain, that Novo will lose this case,” Sydbank analyst Soren Lontoft Hansen said.

“It will be a large fine if they do, but Novo has a strong financial foundation.”