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Philanthropy is an essential part of our approach to corporate responsibility. We support programs to help improve access to health and enhance the quality of life in our communities.

We strive to improve the health and well-being of all people around the world

We envision a world where all people have access to the high-quality health care they need and deserve. That’s why we’re working tirelessly to reduce health disparities — preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence or opportunities to achieve optimal health — for people living in underserved communities. And we’re helping to build strong, vibrant communities where our employees live and work.

Our approach

We provide financial and product donations to help promote health equity – the opportunity for everyone to attain their highest level of health. We support our communities through employee volunteer programs and charitable grants to local nonprofits addressing critical health and social needs.

Guiding principles and priorities

We invest in philanthropic programs aligned with our guiding principles and priorities.

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Our guiding principles shape our program investments and partnerships

Our key principles are to:

  • Address global health needs where we can have a substantial impact
  • Promote health equity by addressing health disparities in underserved communities
  • Collaborate with diverse partners to build healthier, stronger communities
  • Leverage our resources – financial, product and expertise – to achieve greater positive impact on health outcomes


Community eating in Africa

Philanthropic priorities direct the focus of our programs

We prioritize areas of global health need where we can use our expertise to make a difference. We also focus on strengthening communities around the world where we operate. Our priorities are:

  • Reducing health disparities among people living with cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS in underserved communities
  • Strengthening health systems to improve the delivery of high-quality care
  • Empowering patients to better manage their health by helping them overcome social and environmental barriers to care
  • Supporting local nonprofit organizations in our communities and sharing employees’ expertise through volunteerism
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Grant guidelines

Our grant guidelines provide information about the proposal content elements and submission process. Note, the Office of Corporate Responsibility and Merck Foundation do not accept unsolicited proposals.

Merck Foundation

The Merck Foundation is a private, charitable organization established and funded by Merck. It is a separate legal entity from Merck and operates independently.

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About the Foundation

Our company established the Merck Foundation, or the “Foundation”, in 1957. The Foundation has contributed more than $1 billion to support initiatives that address important global health and societal needs. It is our chief source of financial support for eligible nonprofit organizations and innovative programs that align with our two focus areas: health and community.

Nurse consulting patient in Nigeria


We invest in philanthropic programs that aim to improve the quality of health care and address barriers to accessing care for people living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – including cancer and diabetes – and HIV/AIDS.

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Through our community grants programs, we’re working to enhance the health and well-being of the communities where our employees live and work.

Product donations

We don’t just develop new medicines and vaccines, we work hard to help get them to the people who need them. We donate our medicines and vaccines to address specific health needs in communities with limited access to health care and in humanitarian crises.

Mectizan child leading family

MECTIZAN (ivermectin) Donation Program

This program is one of the most significant initiatives undertaken by our company to help enable access to medicines in developing countries. Established over 30 years ago, the MECTIZAN (ivermectin) Donation Program is the longest-running disease-specific drug donation program and public-private partnership of its kind.

Read about the history of the MECTIZAN Donation Program

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Merck Medical Outreach Program

Established over 60 years ago, our Medical Outreach Program is the primary way we donate our pharmaceuticals and vaccines for humanitarian aid in the developing world and in support of disaster relief and emergency response worldwide.

Learn more about our Medical Outreach Program

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U.S. Patient Assistance Program

Our Patient Assistance Program, a separately incorporated nonprofit charitable organization, provides selected medicines and adult vaccines for free of charge to eligible individuals who do not have insurance or whose insurance does not cover their prescription Merck products.

Learn more about the patient support programs we offer 

Our employees give back

Around the world, our employees are passionate about giving back to their communities. Each year, our employees donate thousands of hours to help improve the health and well-being of communities through programs such as Merck for Mothers, the Merck Fellowship for Global Health and a range of volunteer activities.

Merck volunteer smiling with kids in Africa
Employee volunteering

Employees can take 40 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer with eligible nonprofit organizations and can donate their professional skills through virtual, short-term projects through a skills-based volunteer program.

Our Pro Bono Legal Program enables employees to offer expertise to members of the community that would otherwise be unable to access legal advice. Learn more about our program.

The Merck Fellowship for Global Health is a three-month, corporate pro bono program that leverages the skills and talents of our employees and helps build the capacity of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working to improve global health.

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Partnership for giving (P4G)

Our company’s P4G matching gift program doubles the donations made by employees in the U.S. and Puerto Rico to causes that are important to them.

Through a dollar-for-dollar match of employee contributions, our company’s Foundation supports nonprofits that promote a healthier society, advance education, foster the arts, address the welfare of animals, and preserve the environment.

The Foundation also funds our Dollars for Doers program that matches 40 or more volunteer hours with a $500 cash contribution.