Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and the Merck Foundation announced today the company will make an additional commitment of $10 million in support of COVID-19 relief efforts to help address health disparities and inequality among patients and communities. Merck is making this new commitment in solidarity and support of #GivingTuesdayNow, a new global day of giving and unity as an emergency response to COVID-19. With this commitment, Merck has contributed or committed more than $30 million in support of global, national and local COVID-19 relief efforts.
In the United States, statistics show that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting communities and under-represented groups across the nation – with African Americans experiencing higher rates of SARS-CoV-2 infections than other groups. Globally, pre-existing inequalities within society are also differentiating the impact of the disease. Approximately 90% of hospitalized patients have one or more underlying health conditions according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge for the global community. At Merck, we are working to support patients, health care professionals and communities across the world in the fight against this disease,” said Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, chief patient officer, Merck. “This new commitment will help advance health equity and address social determinants of health in our most vulnerable communities and patient populations.”
To help address these health disparities, Merck aims to work with selected external partners to support U.S. and global efforts that support underserved and vulnerable communities and patients with underlying health conditions and strengthen health systems and capacity of frontline health care workers to provide care for vulnerable patients. In addition, as a leader in animal health, the company will support efforts to meet the needs of animals who may be affected.
Merck’s Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Merck is focused on protecting the safety of its employees and their families, ensuring that our supply of medicines and vaccines reach our patients, contributing our scientific expertise to the development of antiviral approaches, and supporting our healthcare providers and our communities. To date, this support has included donations of medicines, protective personal equipment (PPE) donations for health care providers, and funding to relief organizations. Through Merck for Mothers, the company’s global initiative to help end preventable maternal deaths, Merck committed $3 million to help health systems tackling COVID-19 better meet the needs of pregnant women before, during and following delivery. Merck also is enabling our medically trained employees to volunteer their time to aid their communities while maintaining their base pay. To learn more, please visit www.merck.com/COVID-19
For more than 125 years, Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives. We demonstrate our commitment to patients and population health by increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases – as we aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA
This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, 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. 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 recent 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 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).