Merck and Premier Inc. Expand Collaboration to Address Chronic Care and Vaccination Rates


June 22, 2017 7:48 am ET

Call for health systems to join initiatives to improve care for specific patient populations

KENILWORTH, N.J. AND CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC), a leading health care improvement company, have expanded their efforts to co-develop and test solutions to help improve patient care and wellness while lowering health care spending. 

In 2016, Merck and Premier agreed to collaborate to develop and assess solutions that promote wellness and better care for specific groups of at-risk patients across the continuum. The organizations have now launched two projects under this collaboration model. One is a preventive care model that seeks to improve adolescent and adult vaccination rates. The other is a chronic disease model that includes a new focus on type 2 diabetes patients at risk of hypoglycemia, as well as osteoporosis identification and treatment (as announced in 2016). 

“Our expanded collaboration allows us to more effectively support health systems and clinicians that are evolving from volume to value-based models, but lack adequate prevention and wellness solutions,” said Dr. Mimi Huizinga, M.D., chief health information officer at Premier. “We’ve been working with Merck to design data-driven interventions for some of the top population health challenges facing our country, and we’re eager to start testing them in the real-world.” 

The vaccination and chronic care models combine the improvement expertise and technical capabilities of Premier with Merck’s education and therapeutic area expertise. The companies are now developing plans with interested health systems to test these models on the frontline, in real-world settings. 

Vaccination Rates

Immunization is considered one of the most important public health achievements of the last century, but vaccination rates among adults and adolescents remain low in the U.S. The vaccination solution will calculate vaccination rates, and provide performance reports and education to help providers increase vaccination levels among adults and adolescents. 

“Vaccination administration happens across the continuum of care, which can create challenges for health care providers to track patient progress. The ability to use Premier’s analytics platform allows for aggregation of data from multiple care sites so that overall performance can be monitored,” said Lisa French, associate vice president, strategy and commercial model innovation, Merck. 

Dr. Huizinga added, “Combining this care management technology with educational resources from Merck will help ensure that adult and adolescent vaccines reach more individuals who need them.” 

Chronic Care

The chronic care solution currently targets two disease areas, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that nearly 30 million people are living with diabetes in the U.S., and many require medical intervention to treat hypoglycemia every year. Additionally, there are approximately 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, which is estimated to be responsible for two million broken bones and $19 billion in U.S. health care costs each year. 

Merck and Premier will develop core sets of measures for patients at-risk for these conditions across multiple sites of care. In both cases, they will use a cloud-based application to support guideline-based care. For example, the hypoglycemia application will collect information from patients regarding their hypoglycemia symptoms to improve the care team’s understanding of the patient’s current state with the goal of improving the overall management of their type 2 diabetes. 

The vaccination and chronic care model solutions will be tested within volunteer Premier member health systems. Merck and Premier welcome interested health care organizations to inquire about participation. 

“Chronic diseases account for the vast majority of health care costs in the U.S. and vaccination rates for adults and adolescents are low, leaving millions of Americans unprotected from preventable diseases,” said French. “Developing prevention programs and other interventions that health systems can implement as part of their population health management strategies can go a long way toward helping improve patient care and wellness.” 

The financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed. 

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 TwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube and LinkedIn. 

About Premier Inc.

Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC) is a leading health care improvement company, uniting an alliance of approximately 3,750 U.S. hospitals and more than 130,000 other provider organizations. With integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and advisory and other services, Premier enables better care and outcomes at a lower cost. Premier, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient, plays a critical role in the rapidly evolving health care industry, collaborating with members to co-develop long-term innovations that reinvent and improve the way care is delivered to patients nationwide. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier is passionate about transforming American health care. Please visit Premier’s news and investor sites on

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’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; the company’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 the companies’ patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions. 

The company 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 the company’s 2016 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 ( 

Forward-Looking Statements of Premier Inc.

Matters discussed in this release that are not statements of historical or current facts, as discussed herein, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Premier to be materially different from historical results or from any future results or projections expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on any forward looking statements. In addition to statements that explicitly describe such risks and uncertainties, readers are urged to consider statements in the conditional or future tenses or that include terms such as “believes,” “belief,” “expects,” “estimates,” “intends,” “anticipates” or “plans” to be uncertain and forward-looking. Forward-looking statements may include comments as to Premier’s beliefs and expectations as to future events and trends affecting its business and are necessarily subject to uncertainties, many of which are outside Premier’s control. More information on potential factors that could affect Premier’s financial results is included from time to time in the “Forward Looking Statements,” “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections of Premier’s periodic and current filings with the SEC and available on Premier’s website at Forward looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Premier undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise that occur after that date.



  • Morgan Guthrie, Public Relations, Premier Inc.;; 704.816.4152
  • Patrick Witmer, Global Communications, Merck;; 267.305.4910
  • Pamela Eisele, Media Relations, Merck;; 267.305.3558
  • Teri Loxam, Investor Relations, Merck;; 908.740.1986
  • Amy Klug, Investor Relations, Merck;; 908.740.1898



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