We also recognize that we can’t solve major health, environmental and economic challenges alone, but must collaborate with others who share our commitment and who bring their own unique expertise to the table. This understanding forms the core of Merck’s approach and commitment to stakeholder engagement.
Merck conducts stakeholder engagement at both corporate and local levels, depending on the issue. We engage with industry, healthcare bodies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), opinion leaders, patient groups, governments, academic organizations, policy makers, our employees and others to inform our policies, practices and the development of our products.
Our intention is to build lasting relationships with our stakeholders from the outset, to understand their objectives, their expectations of Merck and the potential for collaboration, and to enhance their understanding of—and trust in—us. We strive to exchange information, views and recommendations; share activities and progress against key goals; and partner toward common objectives.
Engagement may take the form of one-on-one meetings; expert input forums or roundtable discussions; industry coalitions; or formal partnerships.
Everything we do is ultimately for patients, and we are primarily accountable to this stakeholder group, working hard to ensure that our innovative products meet their health needs. For more information on our work with patient groups, please click here.
Doctors and patients look to us to provide accurate and balanced information about our products. We are therefore committed to providing appropriate and balanced information to physicians and other healthcare providers about our medicines and vaccines, and about our ongoing research. And we interact continually with physicians, healthcare professionals and researchers to conduct research and clinical trials, to share information and to gain new perspectives on needs and opportunities. For more information on our interactions with these stakeholders, please click here.
We are aware of payers’ concerns over rising healthcare costs and limited budgets, and of the debates on how to make medicines and vaccines more affordable and accessible. We work with payers worldwide to make sure they understand that the prices of our products reflect their true value. We also develop programs with payers to make sure our products can reach the people who need them most. Learn more about our access initiatives.
We are committed to conducting our business according to the letter and spirit of the law and regulations, as well as the various standards of business practice that we endorse. When laws or regulations do not exist or are inadequate, we have created our own standards and use these to guide our practices.
We work with policy makers, legislators, multilateral organizations and governments worldwide to ensure that policy and regulatory environments globally, nationally and locally foster patient access to medicines and vaccines, and that they are conducive to ethical business practices, science and innovation. Learn more about our public policy and advocacy positions.
As outlined in Our Values and Standards, when making donations or contributions or when offering sponsorships, Merck managers are required to consider the following:
We strive to create shareholder value by identifying opportunities to meet customer needs and by managing our business responsibly to achieve superior financial results over the long term. To this end, we measure and report our performance—on financial and other parameters—honestly and accurately, and we work hard to protect and retain our assets, including our intellectual property rights, our resources, our top employees and our reputation.
Merck also reports on environmental, social and governance indicators that are relevant to our business and long-term performance—and we support efforts to standardize nonfinancial reporting. For information related to investing in Merck, please click here.
We work hard to identify the best organizations and individuals to work with, in order to address societal challenges and to inform debates on pressing issues. Merck has decades of experience in developing partnerships, especially those focused on improving global health. Such partnerships are driving the evolution of private-sector involvement in meeting societal challenges.
Our partnerships include a variety of ventures, with a range of participants and priorities—from small collaborations focused on distributing one type of medicine to larger entities fighting a disease. Our objectives for health partnerships might include developing a medicine or vaccine, distributing a donated or subsidized product, or strengthening health services. For more information on our public-private partnerships, please click here.
We strive to make a positive contribution to local communities through responsible and safe operations and through our philanthropy and employee volunteer efforts. Our objective is to develop culturally appropriate mechanisms to engage and build relationships with our local community stakeholders.
Some Merck sites have created community review boards, which meet regularly; others host neighborhood or town hall meetings to seek input from community members. In the case of a new facility, site expansion or a major capital project, we meet with community stakeholders to consider the potential impact of our plans—whether direct or indirect—and to factor community opinions and concerns into the planning process from an early stage. For more information on our contributions to communities, please click here.
We work to reduce the environmental impacts of our operations and products and to promote sustainable environmental practices within the company, by our partners and throughout our supply chain. For more information on our environmental performance, please click here.
Because the talent, diversity and integrity of our people drive our success, we are committed to discovering more ways to create a workplace where our employees—and our business—can thrive.
We recognize the challenge of balancing professional achievement and personal well-being. To this end, we work hard every day to foster a positive working environment for our employees by providing resources to improve their health and that of their families, opportunities for professional development, and more opportunities to get involved in the communities where they live. For more information on Merck’s employee relations, please click here.
We seek out the best suppliers and partners with whom to research, develop, produce and distribute our medicines and vaccines and to perform commercial services. We strive to engage a diverse supplier base and foster responsible approaches on the part of suppliers regarding labor, employment, health and safety, ethics, diversity and protection of the environment. For more information on Merck’s approach to supply chain management, please click here.
Merck engages with stakeholders through numerous organizations of which we are members. Within these groups, we aim to inform related debates in ways that are constructive and that ultimately foster improved access to medicines and vaccines globally. For a list of our memberships, please click here.
In 2011, Merck used various mechanisms to engage stakeholders, ranging from one-on-one discussions, surveys and expert input forums to informal discussions during conferences and meetings. The engagement helped to inform our strategy and actions on a number of issues including:
Stakeholder input contributed to the development of the following:
Our actions are guided by the voices of leading experts, including those on the front lines.
In September 2011, we joined the global effort to reduce maternal mortality by launching Merck for Mothers. Building on our legacy of tackling urgent global health challenges such as river blindness, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, Merck for Mothers aims to create a world where no woman has to die giving life. It is a 10-year commitment to bring this issue to the forefront of global consciousness, develop new technologies and speed lifesaving solutions to women across the globe.
While substantial progress has been made in reducing maternal mortality globally in the past 20 years, we are still losing too many mothers, and more needs to be done. Our first commitment to addressing maternal mortality was to listen and learn. The Merck for Mothers strategy emerged from consultations with hundreds of global health experts, who helped ensure that our approach was informed, comprehensive and complementary to maternal health efforts already under way. Learn more about Merck for Mothers.