Merck To Steeply Cut Price of Hepatitis C Drug Zepatier

The company announced that it plans to reduce other drugs in its portfolio as well.

Merck will drop the price of its Hepatitis C drug Zepatier by 60%, the company announced yesterday. In addition, it plans to cut the price of “several other” drugs by 10%. In doing so, Merck went further than two competitors—Pfizer and Novartis—who said that they would not increase drug prices for the rest of 2018.

But, as the Hill reports: “Drug pricing experts, however, note that Zepatier is not a key part of Merck’s business and hasn’t been as profitable as other drugs in its portfolio.”

Merck also didn’t name the other drugs for which it plans to cut prices. 

Trump administration officials say that the president’s tough talk on drug prices helped precipitate this development. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement: “The president’s blueprint for lower drug prices is working, drug prices are coming down, and American patients are going to see the savings in their pocketbook. We welcome Merck’s decision to reduce prices and restrain future price hikes.”