Merck Commends GAVI Alliance on Continued Efforts to Improve Access


June 5, 2011 7:08 am ET

Merck Offers Further Commitment to Sustainable Vaccine Access

Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) commends the
GAVI Alliance and donor organizations, governments and partners for
their commitment to protecting the lives of children from vaccine
preventable diseases and for the continued commitments announced today.
The Alliances’ success has already reached 288 million children with
vaccines in the last decade and saved more than 5 million lives.

“Merck’s commitment to protecting children’s health by improving
affordability, availability, and accessibility of vaccines is
fundamental to our business and overall mission,” said Dr. Julie L.
Gerberding, president, Merck Vaccines. “The upcoming GAVI conference –
and the commitments highlighted today by so many – are critical steps
toward advancing access to vaccines in developing countries.”

In the spirit of the GAVI Pledging Conference for Immunization, Merck is
furthering its long-standing commitment to GAVI by providing GARDASIL®
[Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16, and 18) Vaccine,
Recombinant] to the GAVI Alliance at a price of $5.00 USD per dose.
Vaccine at this price is being offered to GAVI-eligible countries to
help achieve sustainable public sector access in the most
resource-scarce areas of the world. This price is lower than that in the
lowest tier of Merck’s established pricing policy and takes into account
a country’s ability to pay and burden of unmet health needs in the
population. Merck will also offer RotaTeq® (Rotavirus
Vaccine, Live, Oral, Pentavalent) to UNICEF at $5.00 USD per dose. The
RotaTeq price will decrease to $3.50 USD once the purchase volume
increases to 30 million doses.

“Ensuring full funding for GAVI’s goals is essential to meeting our
public health commitment to all children. Long term purchase commitments
help accelerate the future availability of vaccines. Confirming volumes
to be purchased will enable further price reductions as manufacturers
expand production and lower costs in the future allowing for greater
access,” Dr. Gerberding continued.

Merck is committed to improving access to medicines, vaccines and
quality health care worldwide. In an effort to augment the work of
global agencies and governments that have prioritized immunization in
their countries, Merck leads and supports initiatives to foster access
and partnership that enable sustainable national vaccination programs.
This includes the work currently being initiated by the MSD
Wellcome Trust Hilleman Labs
to develop ways to substantially
improve vaccine thermostability and to explore new vaccine delivery
strategies specifically designed for use in the developing world, the
comprehensive Nicaraguan
Rotavirus Vaccination Program
as well as the recently launched
cervical cancer prevention programs in Rwanda
and Bhutan.
To learn more about these and other Merck programs to ensure access to
medicines and vaccines go to

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

Merck’s 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. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements
about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough,
including future financial and operating results, the combined company’s
plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that
are not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current
beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to
significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from
those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to
differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the
possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and
Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the
expected time period; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation
and health care legislation; the risk that the businesses will not be
integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more
difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; Merck’s
ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on
the effectiveness of Merck’s patents and other protections for
innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health
policies in the United States and internationally and the exposure to
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 2010 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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