Merck’s Commitment to
Prevention and Care for NCDs

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) — diseases that can’t be transmitted from person to person — are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide.

The five main types of NCDs

Cardiovascular Diseases
(like heart attacks and strokes)


Chronic Respiratory Diseases
(such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma)

Mental Health
(Alzheimer's disease)


While systems in the developed world to address NCDs are relatively advanced, NCDs continue to pose an increasing burden on health and economic development in developing countries — where 80 percent of NCD-related deaths take place.

To help address this challenge, Merck is proud to be a founding member of Access Accelerated — a global initiative to advance access to non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention and care in low and lower-middle income countries (LICs and LMICs). Launched during the World Economic Forum 2017 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Access Accelerated brings together 22 biopharmaceutical companies that will work in partnership with the World Bank and the Union of International Cancer Control (UICC).

Merck’s Past and Future Commitment to NCD Care

New medicines and vaccines are essential in the effort to address the public health burden of NCDs.

Throughout our long history, Merck has pioneered numerous novel approaches to prevent and treat NCDs — particularly in diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. In 2017, our research and development expenses were $10.2 billion for conditions including NCDs.

We have a responsibility not only to discover innovative medicines, but also to innovate in how we improve them, how we use technology, and how we partner with the health community to bring them to the people who need them. All stakeholders – governments, industry, civil society, patients and caregivers — need to engage in creative and collaborative partnerships to address NCDs.

We are committed to broadening the number of solutions available to patients and helping decrease the affliction of NCDs.

The surest remedy for any disease is to invent the best medicine or vaccine and ensure that the broadest number of patients have access to it.

— Ken Frazier, Chairman & CEO, Merck

Helping to Achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent the international community’s aspirations for improving the lives of the world’s poorest people. To date, there has been no greater effort to overcome extreme poverty, poor health, hunger and other development challenges. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes NCDs as a major challenge for sustainable development and aims to reduce by one third premature mortality from NCDs by 2030.

Read more about Merck’s history
and commitment to supporting the SDGs

Merck's Access to Health Statement of Guiding Principles

Access to health supports Merck’s overall mission to discover, develop and produce innovative products and services that save and improve lives around the world. To guide our efforts, we follow our companywide Access to Health Statement of Guiding Principles, which articulates our approach and aspirations in the areas of Research and Development, Manufacturing and Supply, Registration, Commercialization, and Community Investment.