Merck lowers prices of medications including hepatitis C drug

Merck lowers prices of medications including hepatitis C drug

A building on the campus of the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

Merck said in a press release Thursday that it has "a long history of responsible drug pricing".

"We recently priced.Hemlibra at less than half the cost of the standard treatment for hemophilia A with inhibitors", Roche said in its statement, adding that what was really needed were "long-term, system-wide solutions that lower costs, while sustaining scientific innovation". Instead, it reduce the price of Zepatier, a treatment whose sales have dropped so low that USA sales were offset by after-the-fact rebates to insurers.

Pfizer's July 1 hike was already its second this year after it raised prices on 41 drugs in January, according to Wells Fargo analyst David Maris, FiercePharma reported.

In his recent tweet he said: "Thank you to Novartis for not increasing your prices on prescription drugs".

Both Pfizer and Novartis have said that they will not take the price increases that the industry typically takes at the end of the second quarter, and will instead hold off on those increases until next year.

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Merck's announcement comes days after Novartis decided against raising USA prices on its prescriptions drugs, and Pfizer recently postponed planned price increases for almost 100 drugs, a decision that came after a meeting with the president.

In 2017, Merck issued its second annual Pricing Action Transparency Report, which showed that net prices across Merck's USA product portfolio declined by 1.9 percent.

Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said that he did not have a direct talk with Trump on drug prices but said his company has been speaking to the federal Department of Health and Human Services about Trump's plan. We believe that further changes are still necessary to help reduce patient out-of-pocket costs.

Merck also says it will not raise the average price of drugs beyond the annual rate of inflation.

Merck said it's cutting the price of Zepatier, a drug that treats hepatitis C, by 60% and reducing the price of six other medications by 10% each. The Merck products selected were based on a range of factors including the gap between list price and actual discounted (net) prices paid in the market, the contractual obligations under existing arrangements with payers, and the opportunity to broaden access to treatment.

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