Merck Congratulates Ecuador as Second Country to Receive PAHO/WHO Verification of Elimination of River Blindness


October 3, 2014 8:00 am ET

Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada,
applauds the government of Ecuador on being the second country in the
world to receive World Health Organization (WHO) verification of the
elimination of river blindness (onchocerciasis) using MECTIZAN®

Ecuador worked in partnership with the MECTIZAN Donation Program and The
Carter Center-sponsored Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the
Americas, as well as the Pan American Health Organization, the Regional
Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), to
eliminate onchocerciasis – one of the leading causes of preventable
blindness worldwide.

“We celebrate the achievement of this critical milestone with the people
of Ecuador and the MECTIZAN Donation Program and its partners. The
verification of Ecuador as the second country in the world to eliminate
the transmission of river blindness is a highly motivating development
because it reminds us of what is possible,” said Kenneth C. Frazier,
chairman and chief executive officer of Merck. “Merck is proud to be a
part of a committed and effective alliance that continues to work toward
the ultimate goal of eliminating river blindness globally.”

For more information, please view the news releases from:

About the MECTIZAN Donation Program

In October 1987, Merck announced it would donate the medication MECTIZAN
to all who need it for as long as necessary until onchocerciasis is
eliminated as a public health problem. The MECTIZAN Donation Program
reaches more than 150 million people annually.

In Latin America, since 1989, more than 13 million treatments of donated
MECTIZAN have been delivered by community health workers and
non-governmental organizations.

Learn more at

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Jennifer Woodruff, 267-305-3550

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