Merck Provides Testimony for Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Hearing


February 8, 2024 10:03 am ET

On Thursday, February 8, Merck Chairman and CEO Robert M. Davis discussed solutions to ensure safe and effective medicines are broadly accessible and affordable to patients who need them, while also reiterating the need for continued investments in the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry. The U.S. must continue driving tomorrow’s innovations for patients around the world to ensure the momentum continues in treating and curing diseases and sicknesses.

We are concerned that many Americans are struggling to afford the out-of-pocket costs of prescription medicines. Merck is committed to responsible pricing and working to ensure that the substantial discounts and rebates we provide on our medicines are passed on to consumers rather than used to enable greater profits to others within the supply chain.

We will continue to work with Congress and the Administration to serve patients and improve health around the globe, while continuing to drive innovation and new treatment discoveries.

Mr. Davis’s testimony summarized the many steps that Merck has taken to address patient access challenges and also proposed specific structural fixes to those challenges.

  • First, in terms of access challenges, Mr. Davis explained how Merck has taken numerous steps on its own to advance patient access, including: helping over 800,000 patients obtain our medicines free of charge through our patient assistance programs; responsible pricing of our medicines with cumulative net price increase well below inflation since 2017; and provision of substantial rebates and discounts to health plans.

  • Second, in terms of structure fixes, Mr. Davis proposed various fundamental reforms to the current system, including: (1) requiring that other actors’ revenue streams be delinked from the list price of a medicine; and (2) requiring that the substantial savings provided by Merck and other manufacturers be passed through to patients to lower their out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy counter.

The fully excerpted testimony can be accessed here.

About Merck

At Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit and connect with us on X (formerly Twitter)FacebookInstagramYouTube and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline candidates that the candidates will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of the global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022, and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (

Media Contact:

Robert Josephson

(203) 914-2372


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