There are illnesses that could bankrupt our society, Merck CEO says

The issue of drug pricing is important, but at the same time studies have to be done to find ways to combat diseases like Alzheimer's, cancer and hepatitis C, Merck CEO Ken Frazier told CNBC on Monday.

"Those are illness that could bankrupt our society if we don't get good solutions to them," he said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell."

The pharmaceutical industry has come under scrutiny for the cost of prescription drugs, with President-elect Donald Trump vowing to do something to bring down prices.

Frazier said Merck has tried to take a "responsible approach" to pricing.

"Affordability is critical so that patients have access to medicines. At the same time, it's also important that we have the kind of incentives that allow us to do the kinds of studies that we need to do to go after these diseases like Alzheimer's," he said.