Actress JoAnna Garcia Swisher "Goes There" in a New Campaign with Merck to Motivate Women to "Get Real" When Talking to Their Physicians about Their Health

Category:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 8:08 am EDT

Dateline:

WHITEHOUSE STATION, NJ

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
MRK
"This new survey highlights that women may not be proactive when it comes to their health"

While women today are confident and in control of their relationships and career, new survey findings reveal they may not be taking the same initiative when it comes to an important health decision. Merck announced today that they are proudly teaming up with actress JoAnna Garcia Swisher to launch Let's Go There, a campaign celebrating women's "don't settle" mindset and encouraging them to "get real" and talk to their healthcare provider about their birth control options. This campaign, debuting today on Facebook, is the culmination of a robust survey conducted on behalf of Merck by Harris Interactive among 2,000 U.S. women ages 20-39 which uncovered that some women may be stuck in a rut when it comes to their birth control.

"My girlfriends and I often share our tips and secrets on how we manage to juggle everything in our lives without ever having to settle. As the daughter of an OB/GYN, I learned from an early age the importance of educating myself to better understand my health options," said JoAnna Garcia Swisher. "I am excited to partner with Merck on Let's Go There to encourage other women to take charge of all aspects of your life, whether career or relationships, or most importantly – your health. Today, with all the different birth control options available, it's important to take time to talk to your healthcare provider about what method best fits your lifestyle."

Let's Go There reminds women that whatever stage of life they're in, modern women don't need to settle for what's not working even with their birth control. With their busy and often demanding schedules, a majority of women using hormonal birth control (52 percent) admit that they rarely evaluate how well their birth control method fits their lifestyle needs. Most women using hormonal birth control (86 percent) claim they are satisfied or very satisfied with their current method. Yet interestingly, 7 in 10 (70 percent) would change something about it; of those who would change something about their current birth control method, 43 percent would change having to take it every day.

"This new survey highlights that women may not be proactive when it comes to their health," said Dr. Michelle Vichnin, Director of Medical Affairs at Merck. "Merck is excited about this campaign because it will encourage women to talk with their healthcare providers about finding birth control options that fit their lifestyles ."

Additional Survey Findings

Today's woman has a take charge attitude: 87 percent of women feel comfortable expressing her opinion and 69 percent feel comfortable "making the first move" with her significant other or a potential partner she's interested in. In fact, 72 percent of women stated they refuse to settle for anything less than what truly makes them happy.

Most women say they would seek out new employment or a new assignment if they felt unsatisfied with their job (78 percent)2 and nearly 9 out of 10 (87 percent) unmarried women say they would end a relationship if they felt unsatisfied with someone they were dating.While more than 2 in 3 women using hormonal birth control (68 percent) have ever considered changing their current method, only a third (32 percent) have considered doing so within the past year.When it comes to what makes them happy, women are more likely to value their physical health (54 percent) than their looks (38 percent), and more women care about what they do for a living (42 percent) than how much money they make (27 percent).

Let's Go There Facebook Page

As part of the Let's Go There campaign Merck and JoAnna have launched a Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/letsgothere). Women are invited to join a community of others and learn more about JoAnna's story, the survey findings and receive tips and tools on how to embrace the modern woman mindset and prioritize this important health decision.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Merck from March 2-15, 2011 among 2,000 women ages 20-39. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Additional statistics are available on the Let's Go There Facebook page. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact letsgothere@mahercomm.com.

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com.

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