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Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, announced it has added medication adherence resources to its consumer health and wellness Web site. With research showing that three-out-of-four Americans fail to take their prescribed medicines as directed, the new resources are designed to help consumers stay on course with their treatment and have better conversations with their health care professionals about the medicines they have been prescribed.
"Medication non-adherence has become a serious public health concern, and is a major reason why patients fail to reach clinical goals," said Sethu Reddy, M.D., vice president, U.S. Medical Affairs, Merck. "We are providing this information to help people understand the importance of taking their medicine as directed."
The resources available on MerckEngage.com include the Adherence Estimator®, a one-minute, evidence-based survey designed by Merck scientists to categorize patients into three groups – those who are at low, medium, or high risk for not adhering to a newly-prescribed medicine. After consumers answer three simple questions regarding their beliefs about a medicine, the tool provides easy to understand, personalized information which may address patient's concerns about taking that medication.
"Merck's research over the past several years shows that health beliefs can be strong predictors of who may or may not take their prescribed medical treatment," said Dr. Reddy. "Our studies point specifically to three health beliefs that are the best predictors: understanding why the medicine is needed and being committed to its use, concern about taking the medicine, and perceived cost issues."
Once identified, the potential barriers of commitment, concern and cost may be addressed through effective dialogue between a consumer and his/her doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional.
In addition to the Adherence Estimator, the new site includes a medication worksheet, tips for taking medicine, articles, and links to trusted sites where consumers can find more information about the importance of taking medicines as directed by a health care professional. Other areas of MerckEngage.com offer consumers a broad range of free, simple, personalized health information and resources to help improve healthy living.
"Merck is committed to continuing our focus on scientific research that identifies the reasons why people do not always adhere to their prescribed medicines, and supporting the development of improved interventions that can lead to better outcomes," concluded Dr. Reddy. "We hope these resources will be widely disseminated and used."
For more information, visit: www.MerckEngage.com/RxForHealth.
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 and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
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This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and operating results, the combined company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; Merck's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck's patents and other protections for innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health policies in the United States and internationally and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions.
Merck 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 Merck's 2010 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).
[Adherence Estimator® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA. U.S. and non-U.S. patents pending.]