Health awareness

Learn more about invasive pneumococcal disease and how it spreads

Invasive pneumococcal disease can lead to a number of serious illnesses in children

November 30, 2022

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baby being examined by a doctor

What is invasive pneumococcal disease?

Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) is an infection caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. It can lead to a number of serious illnesses including pneumococcal bacteremia (an infection of the blood) and pneumococcal meningitis (an infection of the coverings of the brain and spinal cord).

Children under the age of 2 and those with certain underlying medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to invasive pneumococcal infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


different types of S. pneumoniae, called serotypes; however, a smaller number are responsible for most cases of IPD in children

~1 in 4

cases of IPD in children under 5 years of age are caused by 3 stereotypes: 3, 33F and 22F

How does it spread?

Invasive pneumococcal bacteria can spread anywhere, anytime through coughing, sneezing or close contact, and by people who are healthy or sick. Children can carry the bacteria in their nose or throat without demonstrating signs of illness.

While infections are more common during winter and early spring, IPD can be contracted year-round and strike quickly without warning.

What you can ask your pediatrician about invasive pneumococcal disease:

  • Is my child at risk for invasive pneumococcal disease?
  • Could invasive pneumococcal disease harm my child?

“There are steps people can take to be proactive about their family’s health. Parents should speak with their health care providers to learn more about invasive pneumococcal disease and the serious illnesses it can cause.”

  • Dr. Ulrike Buchwald, distinguished scientist, section head for pneumococcal, global clinical development

VIDEO: What the “great resignation” taught us about workplace culture

In this Teal Talks episode, our chief talent officer sits down with leaders from LinkedIn, Workhuman and S’well to discuss how businesses can adapt to a new era of work

November 29, 2022

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Teal Talks episode 7 featured image

The global workforce is going through a significant transformation. In 2021, an unprecedented number of workers quit their jobs. What started as an economic trend called the “great resignation” has spurred lasting workplace changes.

“It’s redefining and recalibrating the relationship between employee and employer, and more specifically, what the employee feels is the employer’s responsibility to them,” said Steve Pemberton, chief human resources officer, Workhuman.

In episode seven of Teal Talks, Pemberton, along with Karin Kimbrough, chief economist at LinkedIn, and Sarah Kauss, founder of S’well, sits down with Carl Segerstrom, chief talent officer, Merck, to discuss the ongoing changes in the workplace and how businesses can continue to support the growth and development of their employees.

Why are workers quitting their jobs and where are they going?

A Pew Research Center survey found that low pay, a lack of opportunities for advancement and feeling disrespected at work were the top reasons Americans quit their jobs in 2021.

A desire to work from home in remote jobs is also driving some of the turnover in the labor market, Kimbrough said.

“Nearly half of all applicants on our platform apply for at least one remote role. And this is up from an infinitesimally small number pre-pandemic,” said Kimbrough. “So, one thing everyone is looking for is that flexibility, and a lot of that comes through remote or hybrid opportunities.”

Finding purpose at work

Research has shown that employees want purpose in their professional lives that merges with their personal values.

In a recent survey, more than half of U.S. employees said they’d be willing to take a pay cut to work at a company that shares their values.

Kauss, whose company was founded with a mission to rid the world of single-use plastics, has seen the benefits of this purpose-led mindset.

“I was very surprised by the caliber of employees that were choosing to come to a smaller startup like S’well because of our purpose,” Kauss said.

What is “quiet quitting”?

Quiet quitting, the popular term that gained global attention through a viral TikTok video, is when employees stop going above and beyond in their jobs and do the bare minimum. Some experts say quiet quitting is a residual effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, burnout and the “great resignation” because it helped make employees feel empowered to take control of their work-life balance. 

“I think what’s indicative is whether or not employers are going to meet humans halfway in their recalibration of what work looks like, how it’s done, where it’s done, and with whom it’s done.”

  • Steve Pemberton

Although many believe the choice of leaving a company may be in the hands of employees during the “great resignation”, Kimbrough said LinkedIn data is starting to show a hiring slowdown and an increase in the mention of “layoff” in their feed.

“To some, quiet quitting may mean getting the basic job done, but in these uncertain economic times, quiet quitting can mean lower productivity for the whole company, and it could push employers to let workers go,” she said.

The “great resignation’s” silver lining

We have arguably seen some of the largest disruptions to the workforce and workplace in decades, but positive developments can be found. “I think the most positive thing that has come out of this time is the increasing emphasis on social issues and how important individuals are to leading great teams and to making positive change in the world,” said Kauss.

Our people

Merck leaders recognized as influential women executives

Honored by WomenInc., Cristal Downing, Caroline Litchfield and Jennifer Zachary push for progress and light the path for future women leaders

November 28, 2022

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three female Merck executives

WomenInc., a media platform that showcases and drives positive dialogue about women, recognized three Merck leaders in its just-released list: 2022 Most Influential Women Executives in Corporate America. They are Cristal Downing, EVP and chief communications and public affairs officer, Caroline Litchfield, EVP and chief financial officer, and Jennifer Zachary, EVP and general counsel.  

“It comes as no surprise to me that we have three of the most influential women executives in corporate America working right here at Merck,” said Rob Davis, chief executive officer and president. “This is a testament to the hard work, determination and invaluable wisdom they bring to the table every day. I’m so grateful for all they do, and we’re fortunate to have them on our team.”

Dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in the corporate world, WomenInc. selected the honorees based on strict criteria, including prominence in company, prior recognition, respect amongst peers, dedication to diversity and overall career ascension.

Employees sitting at a desk with a laptop

A commitment to diversity and inclusion

The diversity of our colleagues enables us to better understand the unique needs of consumers, health care providers and patients we serve. We remain committed to equity across gender, race and ethnicity, and we continue to establish leadership programs to promote equality.

Our company offers a number of initiatives and programs to help us achieve this goal, including the Women’s Network, which includes 10,000 members in 72 global chapters empowering women throughout our company, and the Re-invent program to support women who are reentering the workforce, among many others.

Our people

In Burkina Faso, a personal mission to make a difference in one community

Merck colleagues found non-profit to provide critical resources for a village in one of the poorest countries in the world

November 23, 2022

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Konkourona villagers celebrating opening of health center

Challenging life experiences united two Merck colleagues — Jules Millogo and Cathy Hoath — on a mission to create opportunities and break the cycle of poverty in the small village of Konkourona, in the West African country of Burkina Faso.

Homelessness, hunger and illness in Konkourona

Konkourona is where Millogo, director, medical affairs, global vaccines, grew up with extremely limited access to health care, education, clean water and the bare necessities. It’s also where he witnessed six of his siblings pass away from preventable diseases. Millogo’s father was a strong believer in education and sent him to attend the nearest school in another village, which was hours away from Konkourona on foot.

Despite experiencing much communal trauma growing up, Millogo graduated from medical school and began his career in a Burkina Faso province far from Konkourona, serving as the only doctor for a population of 250,000.

“I somehow managed to overcome bouts of homelessness, hunger and illness from infectious diseases that often come with extreme poverty,” said Millogo. “I grew up knowing that I needed to make a difference in Konkourona and bring opportunities and hope to the people living there.”

Forming Konkourona Alliance Foundation (KAFO) to fight for opportunity and equity

When Millogo joined Merck, he met Cathy Hoath, senior director of regulatory affairs international, vaccines. Hoath was born in Booth Memorial Hospital for Unwed Mothers in Philadelphia, after her teenage birth mother was thrown out of her parents’ home and was unable to find a job or apartment. That experience fuels Hoath’s drive to fight for equity and opportunities — for women, children and all who want to create better lives for themselves and their communities in the U.S. and around the world.

In 2019, during a meeting with the World Health Organization to register our company’s Ebola Zaire vaccine in the countries at highest risk in Africa, Millogo and Hoath began discussing ways they could support development in Konkourona. A few months later, they co-founded the non-profit organization Konkourona​ Alliance Foundation (KAFO), Inc.

“It was the perfect convergence of my professional and personal worlds, giving me the chance to fight for greater opportunity and equity for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”

  • Cathy Hoath

Because remote villages like Konkourona are often referred to in development efforts as “the last mile,” they named their effort “The First Mile Development Program.”  The people of Konkourona are KAFO’s highest priorities.

KAFO builds foundation for education

Millogo and Hoath have met many like-minded people — both within our company and beyond — who have become supporters of KAFO since its founding. And they’ve made good progress in Konkourona.

children in Konkourona sitting in new classroom

New classroom with desks and textbooks for each child

KAFO has built three new classrooms — reducing class sizes from approximately 90 to 45 students — as well as an office and housing for teachers. It also renovated an existing building for use as a library.

Approximately 400 students are now receiving assistance, from books and tutoring to tuition and bicycles so older students can make the two-hour journey to the closest upper-level school.

Students are making educational progress

Previously, only one or two students per year progressed to middle school. Now, in just a couple of years, over 80 students are continuing their education at middle school and beyond.

“In 2020, we began providing books for each child because there were not nearly enough. We also opened the school at night — the only place in the village with electricity — and offered tutoring services. That year, 20 children passed the middle school entrance exam — which is unheard of in any school in this sub-region,” said Hoath. “In the past two years, 63 additional students have progressed to middle school.”

Eric, a standout student in Konkourona, Burkina Faso

Eric is a mentor to the younger children and a role model for what can be achieved with an opportunity and hard work.

One of those students is Eric, who couldn’t afford tuition for middle school. His father died, and he had to help his mother, so he got a job on Millogo’s brother’s farm. Now, through KAFO’s sponsorship, he’s going to high school. He’s also helping to sustain the program long term by mentoring younger children and working with the team on the ground to secure books and bicycles.

He’s now thinking about what he may want to study in college — a dream that would not have existed just several years ago.

“We have high hopes for this thoughtful young man,” said Millogo.

Improving access to health care and clean water

The maternal and child mortality rates in Burkina Faso are among the highest in the world. In addition to a lack of health care resources, the villagers also had very little access to clean water.

“One of the biggest problems we face in Konkourona is water-borne diseases,” said Millogo. “People drink water from wherever they can find it — open ponds or other sources contaminated with human and animal waste and other pathogens.”

Little boy in Konkourona with water pot

Clean water is now widely available for drinking and washing

Working closely with the Mami Siara Na Association, a community-led organization created in 2019 to partner with KAFO to lead and sustain development efforts on the ground, the team has now constructed three water towers, three community fountains, a health center for mothers and children, a separate facility for primary care, a pharmacy, latrines, housing for health care workers and an incinerator.

“Providing access to clean water in Konkourona is practically a revolution.”

Jules Millogo

“And the health care facility, where we can provide critical maternal care, immunizations, and primary services for children and community members — like caring for illnesses, wounds, etcetera — will have a significant impact for this community in many ways,” said Millogo.

Providing economic development and hope for a better future

New pharmacy in Konkourona, Burkina Faso

Konkourona’s new — and first — pharmacy

The improvements in education and health care have sparked local economic development as well. There are new jobs in Konkourona to ensure continued access to education, health care, water and sanitation, not to mention those related to construction activities.  

Over the next five years, Millogo and Hoath plan to build a middle school, a technical school and a high school, as well as housing for teachers in these schools. They also plan to expand the health center.

“We’re all in on this program and learning every day how to do new things — things we don’t have experience in — to make progress in Konkourona,” said Millogo. “We’re fortunate that we’ve received so much support from so many people to help make these important visions a reality. And, we’re just getting started.”

Learn more about Konkourona Alliance Foundation – Empowering a Village and how you can help sponsor a child.

  • men planting a tree in the field
  • KAFO-funded health center in Konkourona, Burkina Faso
  • Villagers celebrate opening of health center in Konkourona, Burkina Faso
  • Jules Millogo of KAFO at celebration of new health center in Konkourona
  • New latrine in Konkourona, Burkina Faso
  • Librarian at new library in Konkourona, Burkina Faso
  • Farmer milling grain for storage
  • Mother and child on bicycle in Konkourona, Burkina Faso
  • the team at a baby store
  • Millogo plants one of the 1,100 native shade and fruit trees KAFO donated to provide an alternate food source and replenish what has been lost over the past few decades.
  • Worker sets up almost $500,000 of equipment and supplies in one of the new health center buildings. Green barriers surround two of the 1,100 trees KAFO planted earlier in the year as part of a reforestation effort.
  • Villagers celebrate the opening of the new — and first — health center.
  • At a celebration for the new health center, Millogo expresses gratitude to the people all over the world who are helping support KAFO's efforts in Konkourona.
  • New latrines built around the health center will help keep the environment clean by encouraging people to transition toward better sanitation.
  • The librarian in Konkourona's first library talks about the variety of books are now available to villagers. Previously, the only type of book available in the village was a small supply of textbooks.
  • Konkourona consists of roughly 4,000 subsistence farming inhabitants, who use nearly all crops or livestock to maintain the farmer and the farmer's family. This farmer is milling grain for storage.
  • Walking is the primary form of transportation in the village, but the fortunate families have bikes. Through sponsorships, students now have access to bikes to make the two-hour journey to upper level schools in other villages.
  • Donations from Care and Share Thrift Shoppes will help hundreds in Konkourona (left to right: Sarah Bergin, executive director of Care and Share Thrift Shoppes, Hoath and Millogo)

Health awareness

The new generation making an impact on HIV

Meet five young advocates leading the response to HIV around the world

November 10, 2022

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five young advocates leading in response to HIV

HIV remains a global epidemic. In 2021 alone, an estimated 1.5 million people worldwide were newly diagnosed with HIV.

Merck has been committed to advancing science for the treatment and prevention of HIV for more than 35 years, but we know it takes more — it takes all of us to make a difference for the HIV community.

And that’s just what these International AIDS Society (IAS) Young Leaders are doing. In 2022, Merck was proud to sponsor 11 Young Leaders to co-create the Youth Hub — a youth-led networking platform that empowers young change makers living with and affected by HIV to lead in the HIV response. Merck was privileged to meet this class of leaders at the AIDS 2022 conference in Montreal. They are an inspiring group of advocates with different backgrounds and experiences in the response to HIV, each striving to empower and educate others from their respective corners of the globe.

Let’s meet a few of these young change makers.

Ashley Rose Murphy | Canada

Ashley was 7 years old when her adoptive parents told her she was living with HIV. But Ashley didn’t hide from her diagnosis. Even at a young age, she knew she was destined for more. By the age of 10, she began to speak publicly about living with HIV, talking to young people around the world about the stigma around HIV and how to protect and advocate for themselves. She’s been a key voice for youth activists engaged in the HIV response in Canada ever since, presenting on stages like the UN General Assembly and the Global Fund and even hosting a TED Talk.

Today Ashley, now 24, is an ambassador for Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR), and UNAIDS, which are committed to ending the AIDS epidemic either locally or globally through research, government-funded programs, global advocacy, prevention, testing and treatment options. Ashley remains an inspiration for all young Canadians living with or affected by HIV.

Ashley Rose Murphy

“I want everyone to know that an HIV diagnosis does not have to be the end of the world. We can all continue to live healthy and fulfilling lives, but it starts with educating yourself about your diagnosis and, most importantly, being your own advocate.”

  • Ashley Rose Murphy

Paul Mavesere Ndhlovu | Zimbabwe

Paul has been using his voice — in more than one way — to help young people living with and at risk of HIV in his native Zimbabwe for years. Over the past several years, Paul has produced a peer-led radio show as the creative radio champion for Zvandiri, an organization that “connects children and young people living with HIV with peer counsellors to assure health, happiness and hope.”

In his role, Paul — together with other adolescents and young people — has created a youth-friendly environment for people living with HIV to freely discuss challenges and issues in their own lives. The show explains to young people the importance of HIV prevention behaviors, the need for increased HIV testing, their sexual and reproductive rights, and available resources to help with mental health and wellbeing needs. In fact, at the International AIDS 2022 conference, Paul was selected to represent the voices and experiences of young people living with HIV and showcase the power of youth within the HIV response. He presented in 6 sessions. Paul has also been chosen from over 5000 applicants to be one of 17 United Nations Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals, a flagship initiative of the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

Paul Mavesere Ndhlovu

“The Zvandiri Radio Show is such an important platform. I’ve seen firsthand how difficult it can be for young people to talk about their status due to fear of being looked at or treated differently by their peers. We are providing an open forum for people living with HIV to freely come as themselves and talk about any challenges they may face.”

  • Paul Mavesere Ndhlovu

Stefano Regner | Philippines

Stefano’s schedule is always busy, and as a “friendly next-door” physiotherapist and sexual health advocate, his work revolves around helping others.

As a trained HIV screener, counselor, and speaker with LoveYourself Inc., Stefano is constantly on the move — traveling across the Philippines to help link people living with HIV to immediate care and empowering individuals when it comes to understanding safe sex. He has also previously worked as a research assistant for one of the Philippines’ largest grassroots HIV test-and-treat centers.

And today, as both a medical student and a social media influencer, Stefano invests time and effort into providing educational resources for people living with HIV using health campaigns and videos.

Stefano Regner

“Social media provides a new platform and method to translate and communicate important topics about health and increasing health literacy. I enjoy sharing key information with my followers, especially as it relates to sexual and reproductive health among at-risk populations in the Philippines.”

  • Stefano Regner

Kalisito Biaukula | Fiji

Kalisito’s motivation to help give a voice to the voiceless and speak up for those in need is evidenced by their work across their island nation of Fiji and the surrounding regions. 

As an intersectional, queer, feminist activist and human rights defender, Kalisito has worked with various civil society organizations working with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC+) in Asia and the Pacific, primarily focused on addressing intersecting human rights issues.

Kalisito has dedicated most of their time to volunteering for various feminist-led civil society organizations, especially those working with key populations in the HIV response. They are a major advocate for people living with and impacted by HIV, fighting to ensure that they are receiving the proper care and government assistance that is needed and calling for comprehensive sexuality education at all levels.

Kalisito Biaukula

“It’s important for young people, especially those living in the Asia-Pacific region, to take a leading role in decisions that affect our bodies. We must all use our voices to stand up for human rights and ensure all populations are receiving equal opportunities to access care and programs in this ongoing response to HIV.”

  • Kalisito Biaukula

Sara Thapa Magar | Nepal

From a young age, Sara developed an interest in social issues related to women and children living with HIV. This passion eventually led her to begin advocating on both national and international platforms for the needs and rights of affected populations living in the Asia-Pacific region.

Throughout her years as a gender and HIV advocate, Sara has been a board member of the International Community of Women Living with HIV Asia & Pacific (ICWAP) and has also spoken publicly about the need to support women-led organizations in their frontline role. In her current role as president of National Federation of Women Living with HIV and AIDS (NFWLHA) in Nepal, Sara works to tackle gender inequalities and end gender-based violence, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sara Thapa Magar

“In Nepal, we continue to see gender-based violence against women living with HIV. As youth leaders, we need to continue bringing these issues to the forefront and work to partner with the government and advocacy groups to address the challenges of women and children living with HIV.”

  • Sara Thapa Magar

The future is in good hands with these young leaders, advocates and activists, and we are excited to continue to watch the impact they make on their local and global communities. To learn more about this youth-led collaboration, visit the IAS Youth Hub.


How antimicrobial resistance is threatening one of our most critical health tools

Why antibiotics are a critical medicine and how we can help protect them

November 7, 2022

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woman, man and child smiling

Imagine you’re driving and get a flat tire. It’s inconvenient, but that’s why there’s a spare tire in your trunk. You change the flat and you’re on your way. Problem solved.

Now consider the situation if you didn’t have a spare tire handy. Maybe you keep driving, thinking you can make it home. Maybe you have a harder time controlling your car and crash. A small inconvenience becomes an even bigger problem with even bigger implications.

Like with spare tires, we want antibiotics available if — and when — we need them. Because our health can depend on them.

Now, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is threatening our antibiotics. If not addressed, it could mean we lose their benefits.

Why should you care about antibiotics?

Antibiotics have been a standard part of modern medicine for decades — likely your whole life. They’re a type of antimicrobial, or a medicine that treats or prevents infectious diseases caused by certain pathogens.

Specifically, antibiotics treat bacterial infections, and they hold a more important role than you may realize.

Antibiotics revolutionized health care by helping people to receive important treatments every day. Without antibiotics, we wouldn’t be able to manage potential infections related to surgeries, organ transplants and cancer treatments.

But AMR is spreading, and it’s threatening the future of antibiotics.

What’s AMR and why does it matter?

AMR is a naturally occurring phenomenon. Pathogens, like bacteria and fungi, naturally evolve to survive antimicrobial treatments, like antibiotics.

But now, resistance to antibiotics is developing faster and continues to pick up speed.

AMR can easily spread with remarkable speed through people, animals and the environment. It doesn’t just threaten our health and antibiotic use. AMR can impact food safety, global security and even economic stability.

How can we slow the threat of AMR?

Antibiotics, like many other helpful tools, aren’t always top of mind. Nobody thinks about when they’ll need to use their basin wrench until their faucet starts leaking.

But soon, if we’re not careful, we could reach for antibiotics and find that they’re not able to help us when we need them most.

That’s why the time to act is now — and you can help. While it will take multiple solutions and a collaborative effort to address this threat, we can all play a role.

First and foremost, you can do your part to prevent infections that require the use of antibiotics, for example, by washing hands and preparing food hygienically.

And be diligent about using antibiotics appropriately. That means using them only as prescribed, only for certain infections, and following doctors’ orders.

Help us fight the threat of AMR to one of the most important health tools in our public health arsenal.

Health awareness

Moving quickly to help support efforts to address the Ebola outbreak in Uganda

See how our people are planning to produce investigational vaccine for an urgent global health need

November 4, 2022

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Vials on a manufacturing line

We’re proud of our legacy in collaborating with others around the world who join together in the fight against Ebola Zaire.

With the advent of the Ebola Sudan virus outbreak in Uganda, our research and manufacturing teams in West Point, Pennsylvania, are mobilizing to contribute to this global health need. We plan to produce and donate vials of investigational candidate Sudan ebolavirus vaccine to IAVI, a global nonprofit scientific research organization, for further clinical research use in its ongoing Sudan ebolavirus vaccine development program that will help support World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) efforts to address the outbreak. Our collaborations with IAVI, WHO and other global organizations are a crucial component of these initiatives.

“I’m so proud of the many teams across our company who are working urgently to produce the investigational vaccine for IAVI so it can be used to support the research efforts against the current outbreak in Uganda,” said Beth-Ann Coller, distinguished scientist, clinical research. “We are honored to collaborate with IAVI and commend the leadership and courage of those in Uganda who are fighting this outbreak.”

We remain committed to working in collaboration with WHO and other health organizations to find ways we may support initiatives to address Ebola outbreaks.

Our people

Here for Good: Putting patients at the heart of innovation

For clinical researcher Janethe de Oliveira Pena, unmet needs in patient health serve as an urgent call to action

October 31, 2022

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two scientists in a lab

Far-off galaxies and distant stars first sparked Janethe de Oliveira Pena’s imagination, but she eventually found her calling delving into the mysteries hidden within the human body.

A native of Brazil, Pena joined Merck as AVP, cardiovascular clinical development in 2022. She currently leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers focused on advancing research in the field of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

“I was a dreamer as a child. At that time, I was dreaming of finding something extraordinary — finding a new planet, a new star. I still am a dreamer today,” she said.

As a medical student, that sense of exploration led Pena into research, where she discovered a passion that has carried through her career, from her time as a professor of immunology to her transition to the pharmaceutical industry.

Learn more about her journey:

Here for good video

Pena’s work focuses on PAH — a rare, progressive and life-threatening blood vessel disorder in which the pulmonary arteries (the blood vessels that carry blood from the right side of the heart into the lungs) become thickened and narrowed. As a result, the right side of the heart would need to work harder to pump blood into the lungs. This additional stress can cause strain on the heart because it’s not able to pump enough blood into the lungs to meet the requirements of the body.

People with PAH often develop heart failure and have a shorter life expectancy than those not living with the disease. The five-year mortality rate for patients with PAH in the U.S. is approximately 43 percent.

In the U.S., approximately 1,000 people are diagnosed with PAH each year, and the disease impacts less than 50,000 people, making it a rare disease.

“The interesting thing about rare diseases is that there isn’t as much awareness about them, but in my experience, when you start talking about them, it’s incredible how many people know someone who has been touched by this condition.”

  • Janethe de Oliveira Pena
Janethe de Oliveira Pena

Since joining Merck, Pena has found inspiration in the collaborative spirit across our company. “We’re really working as one team and winning as one team,” she said. “There’s no single person who is more important than another. If you have a 5,000-piece puzzle and you’re missing one single piece, you don’t have the full picture.”

Even though Pena’s work has her focused on small vessels, arteries and the human heart, she hasn’t stopped looking toward the stars. “I still like to read about physics,” she said. “There’s so much unknown, there’s so much to be discovered. I think that is fascinating.”


Celebrating the opening of our latest state-of-the-art facility

The FLEx Center will help us continue to harness the power of leading-edge science with agility

October 27, 2022

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The FLEx Center

Leaders and colleagues from across our company gathered at our Rahway, New Jersey, headquarters in October to celebrate the opening of a new state-of-the-art facility.

Rob Davis, chief executive officer and president, Dean Li, executive vice president and president, MRL, Rick DeLuca, executive vice president and president, Animal Health, and Caroline Litchfield, executive vice president and chief financial officer, joined to usher in the exciting work we’ll undertake at the new formulation, laboratory and experimentation (FLEx) Center.

The FLEx Center is a fully adaptable experimental facility designed to enable teams to work flexibly and collaboratively to deliver value for people and animals who need us most.

This new facility will bring together colleagues from Human Health and Animal Health to drive our pipeline with speed, rigor and agility. The space can be configured as needed to respond to shifts in priorities, while maintaining strong and necessary links between product development and clinical manufacturing.

“We continue to accelerate and elevate the ways in which we operate with urgency and agility to address health care needs around the world.”

  • Rob Davis

“The world is evolving quickly around us. We must also evolve how we drive discovery, drive invention, and bring those inventions to patients,” Davis said.

Supporting both development work and clinical manufacturing, the FLEx Center is designed to meet the needs of today and adapt to the needs of tomorrow. Flexibility is integrated throughout the building, including reconfigurable portable equipment and an operating model that encourages development of people and processes through hands-on learning.

“This is a major milestone in the realization of the goal to build a chemistry, clinical manufacturing and controls center in Rahway,” said Allen Templeton, VP, pharmaceutical sciences and clinical supply. “It’s a fantastic facility that will help drive speed to delivering clinical supplies. This cross-functional team has built both a building and new ways of working with digital tools and systems.”

After the ribbon-cutting celebration, Templeton said the FLEx Center team was excited and ready to “get started making medicine!”

Over the course of our more than 130 years, our Rahway site has served as the birthplace for many of our scientific breakthroughs. The $450 million investment in this facility reflects our purpose and our continued commitment to bringing medicines and vaccines to patients at unparalleled speed.


Merck’s Q3 2022 earnings report

October 27, 2022

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financials illustration

Merck’s (NYSE: MRK) Q3 2022 results reflect sustained strong business momentum across key growth drivers as well as investment and progress in the pipeline. The company announced Q3 worldwide sales of $15 billion, an increase of 14% from Q3 2021.

“We continue to execute on our strategy, invest in leading-edge science and drive innovation as our colleagues deliver meaningful value for patients — which in turn provides value for our shareholders,” said Robert M. Davis, chief executive officer and president, Merck. “Our third quarter results demonstrate exceptional revenue and underlying earnings growth and sustained performance across our key growth drivers. Inspired by our purpose of saving and improving lives around the world, I am confident we are well-positioned to continue to deliver strong operational performance.”

Merck anticipates full-year 2022 worldwide sales to be between $58.5 billion and $59 billion.

Take a look at the infographic below for more details on Q3 2022 results.

Download infographic

Third quarter financials infographic