Trending News Today: Merck to Drop Price of Hepatitis C Drug by 60%

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

On Thursday, Merck announced that it would decrease the prices of some of the drugs in its portfolio, including Zepatier, a hepatitis C medication, The Hill reported. According to the article, Merck stated that it will drop the price of Zepatier by 60% and lower the costs of several other drugs by 10%. Additionally, the company said that it would not increase the average net price of drugs in its portfolio by more than the annual inflation rate, the article reported.

The Trump administration is looking into ways to safely import prescription medications from foreign countries in an effort to lower drug costs, The Hill reported. According to the article, the FDA is forming a working group to explore how the United States could import pharmaceuticals from abroad. The group will only examine the importation of drugs not protected by patents or exclusivities, and any importation policies will be temporary, the article reported.

A new poll shows that nearly half of Americans are finding it more difficult to afford health care than a year ago, The Hill reported. According to the article, 49% of poll respondents reported having more trouble affording prescription drugs, insurance premiums, and physician visits compared with last year. Additionally, 78% of those surveyed said they believe the government should be doing more to make health care more affordable, the article reported.