Legendary Musician Gregg Allman Joins Merck and American Liver Foundation to Launch Tune In to Hep C Public Awareness Campaign


June 21, 2011 7:08 am ET

Benefit Concert to be Held in New York on July 27, the Eve of World Hepatitis Day

Merck (NYSE: MRK) (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada)
today announced that Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer Gregg Allman will work
together with the company and the American Liver Foundation on Tune
In to Hep C
, a public health campaign to help raise awareness of
chronic hepatitis C virus infection. To help turn up the volume around
hepatitis C a benefit concert featuring The Allman Brothers Band will be
held in New York on July 27, the eve of World Hepatitis Day.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of Allman’s liver transplant,
which he received after his liver had become damaged from chronic
hepatitis C infection. Allman has returned to performing and recording
music, and now wants to help raise awareness of hepatitis C.

“I’m excited to be working with Merck and the American Liver Foundation
because there are many people who have been diagnosed with chronic
hepatitis C, but aren’t taking action. I want to tell them, don’t wait.
Doing nothing is not an option; they need to talk with their doctor,”
said Allman, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band. “I made the
decision to take action and talk to my doctor, so that I could get back
to making the music I love. I want others to take that action too, and
if I can help make that happen, I’ve done my job.”

Nearly 3.2 million Americans have chronic hepatitis C virus infection, a
potentially serious disease that can damage the liver over time and lead
to cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease and liver cancer. Many people
infected with chronic hepatitis C do not know that they have the virus –
approximately 60 to 80 percent of people infected with chronic hepatitis
C virus do not have symptoms.

The American Liver Foundation (ALF) joined the Tune In to Hep C
campaign to help elevate awareness of this important public health
issue. ALF is a national organization advocating for those living with
liver disease and their families, and provides education, support and
research for the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease.

“We are thrilled to work with Merck and Gregg Allman to help educate and
empower patients with chronic hepatitis C – this has been a focus of the
American Liver Foundation for 35 years,” said Newton Guerin, acting CEO
and chief operating officer, ALF. “People don’t often talk openly about
their hepatitis C, which contributes to misinformation and isolation for
those infected with the virus. Gregg’s willingness to share his story
will open the door for meaningful dialogue that can help reduce stigma
and the lack of understanding surrounding chronic hepatitis C.”

Merck recently announced the Hope Against Hepatitis C initiative,
in which the company restated its long-standing commitment to supporting
the hepatitis C community through a variety of public-private
partnerships that will involve public education, patient support
programs and collaborative research efforts. Working with Gregg Allman
and the ALF is an example of this ongoing commitment.

“When a person like Gregg Allman comes forward to speak about his
personal experience, it is extremely powerful, and we are grateful to
him for his commitment to helping motivate other people with chronic
hepatitis C to take action,” said Mark Timney, president, Global Human
Health – U.S. Market, Merck.

About the Benefit Concert

The concert, Tune In to Hep C Presents The Allman Brothers Band,
will take place at The Beacon Theatre in New York City on July 27, the
eve of World Hepatitis Day. The Beacon Theatre has special meaning for
Allman, who has played there every year since 1991 with the exception of
2007, when the band had to cancel their performance because Allman was
too ill from his chronic hepatitis C to play. Tickets will go on sale
tomorrow, Wednesday, June 22 at 12:00PM EDT. Tickets are available at
LiveNation.com, Ticketmaster.com, select Ticketmaster locations and
charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Tickets also will be available at The
Beacon Theatre box office beginning June 23.

Proceeds from the benefit concert will be donated to community-based
organizations that provide education and support services to people with
chronic hepatitis C.

About Gregg Allman

Allman is a legendary performer who is both a founding member of The
Allman Brothers Band and a critically acclaimed solo artist. He has
several gold records to his credit and his distinctive voice placed him
on the Rolling Stone list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All
Time.” More than 40 years down the road, Allman still loves making and
performing music as much as ever.

In addition to his singing and playing, Allman wrote many of The Allman
Brothers Band’s most memorable signature hits, including the classics
“Whipping Post” and “Dreams” from their self-titled debut album,
“Midnight Rider” and “Please Call Home” from their second album
“Idlewild South,” and “Melissa” from 1972’s classic “Eat A Peach” album.
The Allman Brothers Band went on to become the principal architects of
Southern rock and were inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in
1995. Allman’s latest solo album “Low Country Blues” was released in
2011, debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200, the highest chart
position of his solo career, and continues to gain critical acclaim and
commercial success.

About The American Liver Foundation

The American Liver Foundation (ALF) is the nation’s leading nonprofit
organization promoting liver health and disease prevention. ALF provides
research, education and advocacy for those affected by liver-related
diseases, including hepatitis.

About Merck

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.

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