Merck is committed to
discovering smart, sustainable
ways to expand global access
Better healthcare, in combination with myriad technological advances, is also helping to strengthen the economic development of many individuals and countries, but many are still excluded as a result of poverty, lack of education, discrimination and other complex factors.
It is unacceptable that the vast majority of people around the world are unable to benefit from advances in medicines and healthcare. As a global healthcare company, Merck believes it has an important role and responsibility in improving access to medicines, vaccines and quality healthcare worldwide. To help address this challenge, we are committed to discovering smart, sustainable ways to expand access to healthcare, which is also necessary to sustain our business in the longer term.
The enormity of this challenge, however, is far greater than our ability alone to address it. Barriers to quality care and medical treatment—such as lack of trained healthcare professionals, weak infrastructure, civil strife and a shortage of safe drinking water in many parts of the world—make even basic healthcare delivery difficult at best. We believe our role is to work in partnership with others—governments, donors, patient organizations, healthcare professionals, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), multilateral organizations and others in the private sector to lend our expertise and knowledge. We also have an important role to play through our public policy and outreach efforts, to advocate for changes that will improve access. Learn more.
In addition, we are implementing a multipronged strategy to improve access to medicines and vaccines—examining our approach to research and development, manufacturing and supply, registration, commercialization and community investment. To guide our efforts in these key areas of activity, we follow our companywide Access to Health Statement of Guiding Principles, to ensure we are striving to expand access in innovative ways on an ongoing basis.
Merck is actively engaged in R&D to provide medicines and vaccines that address vital global health needs. Merck believes that advances in both scientific development and access strategies will come from initiatives that involve multiple players with unique expertise. Learn more.
Merck is committed to providing patients and customers with high-quality products and a reliable supply of safe and effective medicines and vaccines. Learn more.
Merck is committed to registering our medicines and vaccines in a timely fashion in markets where they are needed. A major goal is to reduce the historic gap in product introduction between developed and developing countries. Learn more.
Merck strives to commercialize its products in a way that meets local needs responsibly and efficiently. For example, through our worldwide differential-pricing frameworks, we are committed to making our medicines and vaccines more affordable to more people by applying a differential-pricing approach that takes into account level of economic development, channel and public health need. Learn more.
We recognize that we cannot address complex public health challenges on our own; therefore, we engage in community investment to address the barriers to access where we believe we can make the strongest contribution. Learn more.
We do not have all the answers to the access challenge, so we spend significant time with external stakeholders who have other perspectives and experience. By listening to and working with groups such as the GAVI Alliance, UNICEF, UNAIDS, Project HOPE, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) and Oxfam, we learn a great deal about how we can do more and move toward our common goal of facilitating greater access and, ultimately, saving lives.
We understand that various stakeholders are also calling on the global pharmaceutical industry to provide greater transparency about the impact of access strategies and initiatives as well as evidence of how access strategies are integrated into an overall business strategy. In response, we develop and report on key performance indicators and articulate the business case for our overall approach, as reflected in our Access to Health Statement of Guiding Principles.
We also recognize a need for relevant industry-specific indicators that will allow comparisons across the industry. Such indicators are beginning to be developed. One example is the Access to Medicine Index (ATMI), which ranked Merck No. 2 in its 2010 Index. Merck believes that the ATMI represents an important first step in this process, but more work is needed to ensure that all indicators are relevant and provide true measures of corporate responsibility. Toward that end, we remain committed to working with the ATMI and other organizations, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), to develop meaningful measurements for our industry.