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Merck will lower prices of some drugs

Merck headquarters building in New Jersey.
Merck headquarters in New Jersey. Photo: Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Merck said Thursday it is lowering the prices of a handful of unnamed drugs by 10% and dropping the price of hepatitis C medication Zepatier by 60%. The pharmaceutical company also said it would cap the "average net price" of some drugs at inflation.

Between the lines: Merck's moves come right after Novartis and Pfizer made separate pricing decisions. However, while lower list prices will help patients, Merck can still raise prices whenever it wants. And the 60% price cut to Zepatier won't matter a lot because Zepatier has lost considerable market share to other hepatitis C drugs.