Merck Announces Launch of a New Business Focused on Comprehensive, Evidence-Based Weight Management Interventions in the U.S.


December 20, 2013 9:00 am ET

Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada,
today announced the launch of a new business focused on providing
comprehensive, evidence-based weight management interventions for
employers, hospitals, medical groups, health plans and patients. This
business is based on providing weight management interventions that
combine a structured diet, behavior coaching and monitoring and physical
activity to achieve clinically meaningful weight loss that can help
reduce the risks of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and
cardiovascular disease.

To bring these interventions to the market more effectively, a new
company has been created called HMR Weight Management Services
Corporation, which brings together the capabilities of Merck and assets
from Health Management Resources Corporation (HMR), a leader in medical
weight management. HMR Weight Management Services Corporation will
operate as a subsidiary of Merck. The Health Management Resources
Corporation will continue to operate as an independent company and will
provide key support to HMR Weight Management Services Corporation.

“We’re excited to provide scalable weight management interventions based
on approaches that have shown consistent results in clinical trials, and
that have been effective in the battle against obesity,” said Len
Tacconi, president of HMR Weight Management Services Corporation. The
business welcomes all customers to its programs and services regardless
of their use of any medicines or programs offered by Merck or any other

“HMR programs provide an important option for physicians and their
patients who need to lose weight as part of their treatment regimen for
managing a chronic disease, and we’re pleased to be working with Merck
to expand these programs,” said Dr. Lawrence Stifler, Founder of HMR.

HMR programs have been studied in clinical trials and have demonstrated
effectiveness. Results have been published in peer-reviewed journals and
presented at medical meetings. The business provides its programs
through two main channels – a network of licensed clinics in major
medical and academic centers, and through a remote delivery program
called Healthy Solutions® at Home. In a
clinical study supporting the Healthy Solutions at Home program,
the median weight loss for participants completing the program was 23
lbs. at 12 weeks during the induction active weight loss phase and 28
lbs. at 26 weeks while following the maintenance phase. For those who
completed 26 weeks of the program, 60 percent achieved 10 percent or
greater weight loss, which is recognized by the medical community as
clinically meaningful weight loss. In an equivalency study comparing the
effectiveness of remote and clinic-based programs, there was no
significant difference between the groups after the 12-month weight
maintenance phase following the initial 6-month weight-loss phase. On
average, both groups were able to maintain approximately 60 percent of
weight loss over one year.

For more information about HMR Weight Management Services Corporation,
please visit

Obesity in the U.S.

Obesity is a major epidemic in the United States and worldwide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than two-thirds of
the adult population in the U.S. is either overweight or obese. The
health consequences of this rise in obesity include significant
increases in diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as a host of
other medical conditions. The health impact of this epidemic also is
having enormous economic consequences – both direct medical costs as
well as the indirect costs of lower productivity and absenteeism
associated with obesity are substantial. In addition, direct medical
costs appear to have been dramatically increasing.

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,
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 (

Healthy Solutions® is a registered trademark
of HMR Weight Management Services Corporation, a subsidiary of Merck &
Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J., USA.

Pamela Eisele, 908-423-5042
Robert Consalvo, 908-423-6595
Carol Ferguson, 908-423-4465
Justin Holko, 908-423-5088

Unsubscribe from email alerts