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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Hovhannes Avoyan, Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater

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Merck Serono Advances to Eighth Place in the 2012 Access to Medicine Index

GENEVA, November 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

 

  • Merck Serono, a division of Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, moves up nine places from previous rank 17 (out of 20), thanks to scaled-up efforts in its Praziquantel Donation Program, and ongoing activities to promote better health solutions to populations in need

Merck Serono, a division of Merck, Darmstadt, Germany, announced today it now ranks eighth in the Access to Medicine Index published today by the Access to Medicine Foundation. Merck's access to medicine activities are conducted through its pharmaceuticals division, Merck Serono, and integrated into the company's Corporate Responsibility strategy. Merck Serono has moved up nine places compared to the 2010 ranking. Every two years, the Access to Medicine Index benchmarks twenty pharmaceutical companies on the different activities and initiatives in promoting access to medicines in low and middle income countries.

Merck Serono "has moved up to eighth place in this year's Index largely because it has provided more information about its tiered pricing, management strategy and single-drug donation programs," the Access to Medicine Foundation cited as reason why Merck Serono has moved up nine places.

"Today, our efforts have been well recognized by the Index and serve as a measuring tool to monitor Merck Serono's overall progress in the access to medicine field. We are committed to pursuing and further developing our Access to Health activities in the future to achieve sustainable health solutions to all," said Stefan Oschmann, Chief Executive Officer of Merck Serono and Member of the Executive Board of Merck.

The Access to Health initiative at Merck Serono was launched in February 2011 and has identified access gaps and opportunities to better meet the needs of underserved patients. Merck Serono's Access to Health initiative aims at bringing added value to the community at large, and is becoming an integral part of how Merck Serono conducts business in a responsible, sustainable manner. Merck Serono recognizes the complexity of bringing health solutions to the poor and understands that the Access to Medicine Index objectives cannot be reached by the pharmaceutical industry alone. Complementarity, synergy and partnership among the different actors in health are needed to achieve a long-term impact and sustainable results.

Compared to 2010, Merck Serono has today been recognized by the Access to Medicines Foundation in particular for several topics such as:

  • Innovative research and development for a pediatric version of praziquantel to treat schistosomiasis, and adapting this drug and anti-diabetic medication Glucophage; five collaborations for relevant diseases and two instances of intellectual property sharing.

  • Introduced access to medicine charter with board-level responsibility, stakeholder engagement reflects initiatives for product donation and research and development targeting neglected tropical diseases, and provides detailed information about access strategy and policies.

  • Transparent about lobbying and public policy positions, monitored and enforced codes of conduct for ethical marketing for employees and third parties.

About Acces to Medicine Foundation

The Access to Medicine Foundation is an international not for profit organization stimulating pharmaceutical companies to improve access to medicine to societies in need. Based in Haarlem, the Netherlands, the Foundation publishes the Access to Medicine Index, the first Index of its kind to rank pharmaceutical companies with respect to their efforts to enhance global access to medicine.

The Foundation aims to advance access to medicine in developing countries by encouraging the pharmaceutical industry to accept a greater role towards improving access to medicine in less developed countries. Please find more information here: http://www.accesstomedicineindex.org

About the Access to Medicine Index

Access to medicines remains a very serious concern for billions of people suffering from disease and is still a primary challenge for the global health system. Reflecting the key role of the pharmaceutical industry in addressing the challenges of access, it is essential that the Access to Medicine Index's approach to monitoring and evaluating the performance of the industry in this work is robust, balanced and comprehensive. The foundation every two years ranks 20 medium to large-size pharmaceutical companies with respect to their efforts to enhance global access to medicine. You can see the latest ranking as well as rankings from the past here: http://www.accesstomedicineindex.org/content/index-2010-0

About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck. With headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck Serono offers leading brands in 150 countries to help patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, endocrine and metabolic disorders as well as cardiovascular diseases. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated subsidiary of Merck Serono.

Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. We have an enduring commitment to deliver novel therapies in our core focus areas of neurodegenerative diseases, oncology and rheumatology.

About Merck

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of €10.3 billion in 2011, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by approx. 40,000 employees in 67 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

For more information, please visit http://www.merckserono.com or http://www.merckgroup.com

Merck Serono S.A. - Geneva, http://www.merckserono.com, Merck Serono is a division of Merck.

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