Merck pledges to cut prices for seven drugs

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Here's why drug prices are so high

Merck joined fellow pharmaceutical giants Novartis and Pfizer on Thursday in pledging to restrict drug worth will increase in america.

Merck mentioned it is slicing the worth of Zepatier, a drug that treats hepatits C, by 60% and lowering the worth of six different medicines by 10% every.

The corporate additionally mentioned it won’t increase the common worth of the medication it sells past the annual charge of inflation in america and can proceed to “consider our portfolio to search for alternatives to additional scale back prices.”

The six medicines focused for 10% worth cuts are:

— Prinivil, treats hypertension and coronary heart situations

— Proscar, treats enlarged prostate

— Remeron, antidepressant

— Sinemet, treats signs of Parkinson’s illness

— Sinemet (sustained-release)

— Trusopt, treats signs of glaucoma and different eye illnesses

Associated: First it was Pfizer. Now Novartis has frozen drug costs within the US

The transfer by Merck (MRK) comes after Pfizer (PFE) introduced worth hikes for practically three dozen medication solely to reverse course amid public stress from President Donald Trump.

Trump in a tweet earlier this month lambasted what he referred to as Pfizer’s plans to lift costs “for no cause.”

The corporate introduced final week it might halt elevating costs on a number of medication. The corporate didn’t, nevertheless, roll again worth hikes already applied this 12 months, together with on fashionable medicines like Xanax, Lipitor and Chantix.

Swiss agency Novartis adopted, pledging to not increase drug costs in america this 12 months. The corporate plans to “consider because the atmosphere evolves,” Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan instructed Bloomberg this week.

The pharmaceutical business has been the topic of criticism due to climbing drug costs. Trump has promised to stress the business to decrease drug costs.

Nonetheless, his administration did little till Might, when it rolled out its 44-page “blueprint” for rising competitors, lowering laws and altering the incentives for all gamers within the drug business.

Merck mentioned in a press launch Thursday that it has “an extended historical past of accountable drug pricing.” Final 12 months, the common web worth of all of the medicines it sells in america declined by 1.9%.

— Charles Riley, Danielle Wiener-Bronner and Tami Luhby contributed to this report.

CNNMoney (New York) First printed July 19, 2018: 5:56 PM ET

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