Merck and Israel’s Maccabi Healthcare to Leverage Unique Real-World Database to Inform Novel Health Approaches


September 9, 2013 7:00 am ET

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Maccabi Healthcare Services, a two million-member health care provider in Israel, are starting a new, multi-year agreement to leverage real-world data from Maccabi’s unique longitudinal database to inform novel, patient-centered health approaches.

Maccabi and Merck will apply technical and information research capabilities to draw insights from Maccabi’s data to support personalized health care delivery strategies across several therapeutic areas, including prevalent and costly chronic diseases. Specifically, the parties seek to enable better understanding of unmet patient needs, real-world outcomes achieved with medical treatments, and optimal approaches for improving patient adherence.

“Using electronic medical record technology to help improve our patients’ outcomes and well-being has been a Maccabi priority for more than 20 years,” said Varda Shalev, M.D., director of Primary Care Division, Maccabi Health Care Services. “We believe that combining Merck research expertise with our fully integrated, electronic, de-identified patient data can unlock major insights for achieving better outcomes in healthcare, including chronic diseases where education, medication and adherence are so important. Our goal is that our data will enable research projects that advance healthcare, from product development to patient wellness programs.”

A pioneer in electronic medical records, Maccabi has gathered and maintained an electronic medical record (EMR) database since 1993, providing a rare and valuable picture of longitudinal patient health that tracks how visits to primary-care physicians, hospitals and pharmacies, plus demographic shifts during the past 20 years, influence health outcomes. Maccabi’s 2 million members represent nearly 25 percent of the Israeli population, and tend to remain customers of the health care system for life. Maccabi’s data sets are de-identified to fully protect and maintain patient privacy – a top priority for both Maccabi and Merck.

“Market forces are demanding that all of us involved in health care find ways to enhance the quality of care while also offering greater efficiency and value, including research-driven companies like Merck,” said Sachin Jain, M.D., chief medical information and innovation officer, Merck. “In order to actually reduce costs and optimize quality, we’re going to need to have new breakthroughs – in medicines and vaccines, as well as how we structure and organize and deliver care to patients. By harnessing the power of large data sets such as Maccabi’s, we have an opportunity to derive new insights about diseases, treatment paradigms and patients – so we can work to address the most important medical needs of patients as well as the needs of payers.”

In addition to this new agreement with Maccabi, Merck is working with the Regenstrief Institute and PatientsLikeMe® on collaborations to assess and apply insights from their real-world patient databases to advance medical treatment and care.

About Maccabi

Maccabi Healthcare Services, one of the largest health funds in the world, provides comprehensive medical coverage to 2 million members. Maccabi has long been recognized, both in Israel and abroad, as a unique and innovative health care system that includes all services, leading the way in many areas including cutting edge medical technology, comprehensive and integrated computerized information systems, cost–effective management, and sophisticated monitoring and evaluation tools.

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 and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Merck Forward-Looking Statement

This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; Merck’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck’s 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site ( 

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Merck Media Relations:
Caroline Lappetito: (267) 305-7639
Maccabi Media Relations:
Ido Hadari: 972 50 8801333
Merck Investor Relations:
Carol Ferguson: (908) 423-4465

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