CEO Frazier: Merck is eager for deals, sees strong prospects for drugs for cancer, hepatitis C BY LINDA A. JOHNSON, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TRENTON, N.J. - Merck's chief executive says the drugmaker is "raring to go" on deals this year, particularly for small and midsize acquisitions of companies or their experimental drugs.

CEO Kenneth Frazier, speaking Tuesday at a Goldman Sachs conference of CEOs of health care companies in Boston, also said he expects more approvals and growing sales from new cancer drug Keytruda.

And Frazier predicted Merck will soon be a player again in the lucrative hepatitis C market. The world's fourth-biggest drugmaker was a leader until rivals Gilead Sciences Inc. and AbbVie Inc. launched a new generation of medicines that cure nearly every patient in a few months. They wiped out sales of older hepatitis C medicines sold by Merck and other companies.

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