Around the world, our objectives remain the same: To protect the safety of our employees and to produce and supply our essential medicines and vaccines for those who need them. That is our unique responsibility as a company, and we factor that responsibility into every decision we make.
Thanks to our colleagues, our manufacturing plants and clinical supply sites remain open around the world and, we are taking steps to make sure that continues to be the case. Our thoughts are with the people of all affected areas. We would also like to extend our sincere appreciation to the many health care providers and volunteers who are doing so much to help affected patients and communities.
We know many of you have questions and we want to answer them as best as we can. To help you navigate your questions, we’re providing the list of FAQs below.
Merck makes a range of medicines and vaccines for infectious diseases, but none of them are approved for use to treat COVID-19. As a company, we have enormous experience in inventing antivirals and vaccines. We, and many other pharmaceutical companies, are actively engaged in scientific efforts to help find solutions to coronavirus disease. This pandemic underscores the need for our company and our industry to continue to invest in research for the greatest health threats.
While supply and demand vary by product, there are not any current impacts from COVID-19 on the production and supply of our medicines and vaccines for the U.S. However, we are working to assess an increase in demand for our pneumococcal vaccine. As communities around our manufacturing facilities are impacted by various social distancing measures implemented by authorities, we will assess the impact of reduced staffing levels on our supply chains.
Driven by our steadfast commitment to patients, we are making every effort to ensure that patients in affected areas who are enrolled in clinical trials are able to continue their treatment and receive appropriate care and monitoring. In many areas, we are temporarily suspending enrollment to ongoing studies and the start of new studies due to the pandemic. We will monitor conditions and will provide further updates as appropriate.
We continue to make decisions that are aligned with recommendations of local health authorities and in the best interests of our employees, patients and customers. Where recommended by local authorities, our colleagues who can work from home are doing so. We have paused in-person interactions with health care providers in many markets, including in the U.S. We are also asking all employees to follow global health recommendations on handwashing and social distancing. And, if any of our employees is experiencing symptoms of fever, shortness of breath, we’ve asked them to stay home - this applies during this outbreak - and is a good practice at any time.
We are committed to supporting our health care providers and our communities. Where possible, our employees around the world are helping, including contributing volunteer services and donations to support both local and global responses. Read more about how we are supporting communities.
If you have questions on a Merck medication, please contact our National Service Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-800-672-6372.
Listen as Merck’s Dr. Julie L. Gerberding and BIO’s Phyllis Arthur discuss the outbreak and its public health impact