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As political pressure on the pharmaceutical industry builds, Merck has become the latest big drug maker to commit to halting price hikes.

In a brief statement, the company agreed not to increase the average net prices of its medicines by more than inflation annually, and then also dropped the wholesale — or list — price by 60 percent on its Zepatier hepatitis C treatment and lowered list prices by 10 percent on a half dozen other drugs. However, the extent to which its moves will actually be meaningful are being questioned.

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