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Merck Offers Further Commitment to Sustainable Vaccine Access
Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) commends the GAVI Alliance and donor organizations, governments and partners for their commitment to protecting the lives of children from vaccine preventable diseases and for the continued commitments announced today. The Alliances' success has already reached 288 million children with vaccines in the last decade and saved more than 5 million lives.
"Merck's commitment to protecting children's health by improving affordability, availability, and accessibility of vaccines is fundamental to our business and overall mission," said Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, president, Merck Vaccines. "The upcoming GAVI conference - and the commitments highlighted today by so many - are critical steps toward advancing access to vaccines in developing countries."
In the spirit of the GAVI Pledging Conference for Immunization, Merck is furthering its long-standing commitment to GAVI by providing GARDASIL® [Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16, and 18) Vaccine, Recombinant] to the GAVI Alliance at a price of $5.00 USD per dose. Vaccine at this price is being offered to GAVI-eligible countries to help achieve sustainable public sector access in the most resource-scarce areas of the world. This price is lower than that in the lowest tier of Merck's established pricing policy and takes into account a country's ability to pay and burden of unmet health needs in the population. Merck will also offer RotaTeq® (Rotavirus Vaccine, Live, Oral, Pentavalent) to UNICEF at $5.00 USD per dose. The RotaTeq price will decrease to $3.50 USD once the purchase volume increases to 30 million doses.
"Ensuring full funding for GAVI's goals is essential to meeting our public health commitment to all children. Long term purchase commitments help accelerate the future availability of vaccines. Confirming volumes to be purchased will enable further price reductions as manufacturers expand production and lower costs in the future allowing for greater access," Dr. Gerberding continued.
Merck is committed to improving access to medicines, vaccines and quality health care worldwide. In an effort to augment the work of global agencies and governments that have prioritized immunization in their countries, Merck leads and supports initiatives to foster access and partnership that enable sustainable national vaccination programs. This includes the work currently being initiated by the MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Labs to develop ways to substantially improve vaccine thermostability and to explore new vaccine delivery strategies specifically designed for use in the developing world, the comprehensive Nicaraguan Rotavirus Vaccination Program as well as the recently launched cervical cancer prevention programs in Rwanda and Bhutan. To learn more about these and other Merck programs to ensure access to medicines and vaccines go to www.merck.com/responsibility.
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.
Merck's Forward-Looking Statement
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).