Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
 
 
 
Our Approach

Our Approach

In contributing to providing access to health in developing countries, we work at the interface of medicines, diagnostics, nutritional supplements and chemicals, utilizing our local and global presence, expertise and core competencies. We leverage our core competencies, expertise, knowledge and experience across the health value chain in order to address barriers in access to health in developing countries. Through our needs-based and outcome-oriented 4As approach, we aim to achieve this goal.
Key points:
  • Our A2H work cuts across all Merck, KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany businesses and functions, leveraging our knowledge and expertise across the health value chain.
  • Our A2H strategy is designed to contribute to overcoming barriers to access for underserved populations and communities in developing countries in a business integrated and sustainable manner. 
  • Recognizing that access is a complex and multifaceted challenge with no one-size-fits-all solution, our programs and initiatives are tailored to global, regional and local needs.
  • We take a holistic approach working in partnerships to achieve results
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Pharmaceutical Product Donations

Pharmaceutical Product Donations

Taking responsibility is an integral part of our corporate culture. Our commitment to social responsibility is demonstrated through our health care projects and donation programs that improve the affordability and availability of our health solutions. Our philanthropic activities include providing disaster relief in emergency situations, with a geographic focus on the countries in which we work.
Key points:
  • Product donations are most impactful when they are either large-scale long-term initiatives targeting elimination of a disease, or short-term responses to emergencies such as natural disasters.
  • We support various philanthropic projects to improve living conditions and health standards in the countries in which we work. 
  • We donate our products in response to specific needs and requests for assistance, and in situations where our donations can be monitored and evaluated for effectiveness.
  • Our product donations are primarily targeted at developing countries. We prioritize donations based on expressed need and expected impact, in consultation with our partners and host governments.
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Fake Medicines

Fake Medicines

The growing threat of fake medicines undermines efforts to assure access to safe and quality health care. This is especially true in developing countries where the prevalence of these medicines is highest. Fake medicines can result in treatment failure and in extreme cases they can be fatal. We at Merck, KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany are committed to ensuring patients receive effective drug therapy and are aware of the dangers of fake medicines.
Key points:
  • A growing number of people receive fake medicines – particularly in developing countries. The International Policy Network estimates that each year 700,000 deaths are caused by fake drugs for malaria and tuberculosis– diseases most prevalent in developing countries.
  • More than 30% of medicines on sale are fake in some countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The WHO estimates that 50% of the medicines sold by illegal internet pharmacies are counterfeits. 
  • We perform thorough and regular checks on our distribution network and supply chain partners to ensure compliance with our requirements. We are a leader in the pharmaceutical industry’s attack on fake medicines; we launched the first track-and-trace system in the United States.
  • We believe that fake medicines, regardless of their manufacturer, put patients’ lives at risk. We therefore support a variety of initiatives that go beyond our products.
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R&D for Neglected Tropical Diseases and Priority Communicable Diseases

R&D for Neglected Tropical Diseases and Priority Communicable Diseases

In an effort to improve access to health, we recognize the importance of Research and Development (R&D) into Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and other priority Communicable Diseases such as malaria and diarrhea. We are committed to making a positive impact in the lives of those suffering from NTDs and other priority communicable diseases in developing countries through dedicating part of our R&D efforts to finding solutions for these unmet medical needs.
Key points:
  • R&D efforts and access to affordable medicines from the global community are currently limited in the area of NTDs and priority communicable diseases. As a result, it is important to invest in innovative solutions to fight these diseases, especially considering the health burden they create.
  • More than 1 billion people – one-sixth of the world's population5 – are infected with one or more NTDs. An additional two billion individuals are at risk of infection, and half a million people die every year from NTDs. 
  • Merck, KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s Translational Innovation Platform (TIP) houses our R&D efforts to combat NTDs and priority communicable diseases.
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Pharmaceutical Product Pricing

Pharmaceutical Product Pricing

Our pharmaceutical pricing approach helps us ensure a sustainable supply of products for future generations of patients. Our approach allows us to recover the costs we incur by bringing products to market, including costs from research, development, manufacturing, regulation and distribution, among others.
Key points:
  • The retail price of our health solutions in developing countries are frequently affected by factors beyond our control. These factors include import tariffs, distribution costs, third party mark-ups and domestic taxes.
  • We balance our commitment to improving access while maintaining a sustainable business model. This balance encourages long-term investment in innovative research and development and the production of high-quality, safe products that improve patients’ lives. 
  • We recognize that countries have different abilities to pay for our health solutions. We therefore commit to implement inter-country equitable pricing schemes.
  • We offer intra-country differential prices to ministries of health and to social health insurance systems responsible for distributing health solutions via low priced tenders.
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Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual Property Rights

Respectful and responsible handling of intellectual property is not a barrier for access to health. We are focused on finding innovative solutions, including respectful and responsible handling of intellectual property, to promote sustained and affordable access to health in developing countries.
Key points:
  • Intellectual property protection is required for us to make investments in the research and development needed to enhance therapeutic efficacy of our existing health solutions and to create new therapies for future generations.
  • We have adopted a policy of not filing or enforcing patent applications in the large majority of developing countries. We recognize that respectful and responsible handling of intellectual property is essential for improving access to health in developing countries, where governments and patients face significant resource constraints and access barriers. 
  • We support the World Trade Organizations (WTO) standards for intellectual property rights, including the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and subsequent amendments such as the Special Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health at the Doha Ministerial Conference in November 2001 (Doha Declaration).
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A2H Charter

Infographics
The Charter is a living document that highlights the company’s commitment to promoting sustainable access to high quality health solutions as well as provides in-depth information on Merck, KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany's approach and efforts to reach under-served populations and addressing access challenges in emerging markets.
First created in 2011, the Charter has been revised to reflect Merck, KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s strengthened commitment to access to health and our enhanced efforts around transparency. The Charter is a unique all-Merck, KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany effort that demonstrates how A2H is an embedded feature of Merck, KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s “DNA.”
The revision process was a cross-divisional effort with experts from various sections co-leading with the A2H team to draft and gather inputs from colleagues. External experts in the field of access and global health were also consulted, including the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health and other key global health stakeholders, and recommendations from Merck, KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Access Dialogues were incorporated.
Focusing on priority access thematic issues and Merck, KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s efforts to overcome access barriers, the Charter is an overarching platform composed of 6 position papers:
 

DISCLAIMER

Publication of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
There are two different, unaffiliated companies that use the name MERCK. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which operates this website, uses the firm name “Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany,” in the United States and Canada, and also uses “EMD Serono” in biopharma, “MilliporeSigma” in life science and “EMD Performance Materials” in materials business. The other company, Merck & Co., Inc. holds the rights in the trademark MERCK in the United States and Canada. Merck & Co. is not affiliated with or related to Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, which owns the MERCK trademark in all other countries of the world.   To reflect such fact and to avoid any confusion, certain logos, terms and business descriptions of the publications on this website have been substituted or modified, such as by referring to “Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany” instead of “Merck” standing alone.  Publications on this webpage, therefore, slightly deviate from the otherwise identical versions accessible outside the United States and Canada.