Merck Joins with the American Liver Foundation to Educate U.S. Veterans on Chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection


October 12, 2017 5:55 am ET

Events Across the Country Will Raise Awareness of Veterans’ Increased Risk for Chronic HCV Infection

KENILWORTH, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada,
today announced a collaboration with the American Liver Foundation to
raise awareness among U.S. veterans about their increased risk for
chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Chronic HCV infection can
slowly damage the liver and may cause serious liver disease decades
following initial infection, often without apparent symptoms. Through
the initiative, the American Liver Foundation will join events in cities
across the country to educate veterans about risk factors for chronic
HCV infection, as well as how they can be tested and treated, if

Chronic HCV infection is the most common blood-borne disease in the
United States, affecting approximately 3.5 million people. Veterans are
three times more likely to have chronic HCV infection than the general
population. The risk is highest for veterans born between 1945 and 1965,
who are five times more likely than other veterans to have chronic HCV
infection. In addition to age and veteran status, other risk factors for
chronic HCV infection include having undergone a transfusion with blood
or blood products before 1992, having injected drugs, having gotten body
piercings or tattoos, or being infected with HIV.

“Despite their increased risk for chronic hepatitis C virus infection,
too many veterans remain undiagnosed,” said Thomas F. Nealon III, chief
executive officer of the American Liver Foundation. “We are proud to
work with Merck on this important initiative, which we believe will help
many veterans better understand their risk, as well as their options for
getting tested and linked to care.”

Through the program, educational events will initially be held in
Boston, Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Diego. At the events, educators
from the American Liver Foundation will speak with veterans about their
potential risk factors for chronic HCV infection and provide tips and
resources for those who are at-risk or living with the disease.

“At Merck, we are deeply grateful for the service and sacrifices that
veterans have made for our country,” said John Schwind, executive
director, Merck. “We will continue working on behalf of veterans through
initiatives such as this, as well as through our broader commitment to
hiring veterans and providing resources to support employees
transitioning to civilian life.”

For more information about the educational events and to learn more
about the impact of chronic HCV on veterans, please contact your local
American Liver Foundation office.

About Chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a chronic viral infection that is
spread through contact with infected blood and can cause serious liver
problems, including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer.
Chronic HCV slowly damages the liver, often without showing symptoms. In
many cases, the infection is not recognized until problems with the
liver have already developed.

About The American Liver Foundation

The American Liver Foundation is a trusted voice and resource for
patients with liver disease. Its mission is to facilitate, advocate and
promote education, support and research for the prevention, treatment
and cure of liver disease. The Foundation’s 16 divisions across the
country provide support to patients, families and the general public. It
funds research that has helped further careers of young scientists in
the field of liver health in the hopes of finding treatments and cures
for liver disease.

For more information, visit the American
Liver Foundation website
or call the National HelpLine
1-800-GO-LIVER (1-800-465-4837).

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,
and connect with us on TwitterFacebookInstagram,
and LinkedIn.

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“company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of
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Michael Close, 267-305-1211
Pam Eisele, 267-305-3558
American Liver Foundation
Saara Khadir, 202-591-4010

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