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Merck Zepatier Pricing
Merck set a list price for Zepatier of $54,600 a patient for a 12-week treatment, more than 30% below the list prices for competing drugs from Gilead and AbbVie Inc., though in line with net prices for those drugs after discounts, according to Merck.
Merck said it expects the price for Zepatier to maximize its revenue and market share, and to broaden patients' access to hepatitis C treatment. The list price could reduce out-of-pocket expenses for certain patients, such as those covered by the Medicare Part D drug benefit, versus competing drugs, Adam Schechter, Merck's head of human health, said on a conference call.
Mr. Schechter didn't rule out providing discounts on Zepatier, saying Merck planned to "compete in all segments of the market and to have an appropriate discounting strategy that allows us to have access." He didn't specify the magnitude of any discounts. Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson said in a research note Wednesday he believes Merck is offering a 15% discount off the list price to payers. [from Jules: 54k minus 23% required medicaid rebate equals about 41k, minus 15% equals about 35k, at what point does medicaid say ok? or will they continue to hold patients hostage, when does onus fall on CMS & Medicaid?]
According to Merck spokeswoman Pam Eisele, "we expect [Zepatier's] price, as well as our comprehensive access strategy to seek broad coverage across commercial and public segments, will help broaden and accelerate patient access ttreatment."
......we expect the launch of Zepatier to further drive net price reductions for all market participants."
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