Donation program − Hand in hand with WHO
Since 2007, we've been supporting the World Health Organization (WHO) in the fight against schistosomiasis in Africa. The most effective treatment to date for this parasitic disease is Cesol® 600, a tablet that contains the well-tolerated active ingredient known as praziquantel. This API is on the WHO list of essential drugs.
Through our medicine donation program, we've been partnering with WHO since 2007 to supply these tablets on a regular basis. To date, Merck has donated more than 500 million praziquantel tablets to WHO. Over 100 million patients have been treated in total, primarily school children. We produce the tablets at our plant in Mexico and also cover the transport and logistical costs involved in getting the tablets to Africa, while WHO manages, monitors, and documents their distribution at the local level.
We will continue our fight against schistosomiasis as long as it takes to eliminate the disease in Africa. We intend to accelerate the process and are increasing the number of tablets donated annually to up to 250 million tablets.
To review the progress of our efforts, we get together with WHO at least twice a year. At this meeting of the steering committee, we plot the course for our Praziquantel Donation Program and decide where to take it next.