Merck Grabs FDA Approval for Hep C Pill; Plans Lower Price Point

Jan. 28, 2016

The U.S. FDA has approved Merck's new, once-daily hepatitis C pill, and the drugmaker plans to sell the drug at a lower list price than competitors.

The FDA has approved Zepatier for patients infected with the most common form of hepatitis C, genotype 1, as well as the less common genotype 4.

The list price for Zepatier will be $54,600 for a 12-week regimen, which works out to $650 per pill.

It's been over two years since competitor Gilead received approval for Sovaldi, the $1000 per-pill 12 week treatment, with a total treatment price of $84,000. According to Reuters, Gilead has continued to dominate the market with hepatitis C drug sales of more than $14 billion in the first nine months of 2015.

Read the Reuters press release