Merck Acknowledges Efforts by WHO, ACS, and NCI-Designated Cancer Centers to Reduce the Number of Men and Women Affected by HPV-related Cancers


June 7, 2018 2:55 pm ET

KENILWORTH, N.J., June 7, 2018 – Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, acknowledges the recent calls-to-action set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers to work towards the reduction and possible goal of elimination of certain HPV-related cancers. While progress has been made in the fight against HPV-related diseases, more work needs to be done as HPV-related cancers remain a significant public health burden in women and men. These efforts are important steps toward a world where the number of women and men affected by certain HPV-related cancers is greatly reduced.

“Addressing the burden of HPV-related cancers will require sustained commitment and coordinated research and action across multiple stakeholders and should include screening, prevention, treatment, infrastructure strengthening, and surveillance and monitoring,” said
Julie Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., executive vice president and chief patient officer at Merck. “Merck is committed to working with the broader global public health and research community to continue to address the burden of certain HPV-related cancers around the world.”

About HPV and related cancers and diseases

In the United States, human papillomavirus (HPV) will infect most sexually active males and females in their lifetime. According to the CDC, there are approximately 14 million new genital HPV infections in the United States each year, half of which occur in people
15 through 24 years of age. For most people, HPV clears on its own, but for others who don’t clear the virus it could lead to certain cancers and other diseases in males and females. There is no way to predict who will or won’t clear the virus.

HPV causes virtually all cervical cancer cases. Each day, about 36 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United States — about 13,200 women per year. HPV also causes approximately 70-75 percent of vaginal cancer cases and approximately 30 percent of vulvar cancer cases in females, and approximately 85-90 percent of anal cancers and 90 percent of genital warts in both females and males.

Anal cancer and genital warts affect both men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 2,960 men and 5,620 women in the United States will be diagnosed with anal cancer in 2018, and overall rates have been increasing. There is no routine screening recommended for the general population to reduce the risk of anal cancer. Approximately 355,000 cases of genital warts occur each year in the United States. Approximately 3 out of 4 people get them after having genital contact with someone who has genital warts.

About Merck

For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies 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 health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world – including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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