Merck strives to commercialize our products in a way that both develops our business and meets local needs in a responsible and efficient manner.

Our Commitments

  • We will price our products through differential pricing frameworks, taking into consideration the level of economic development, the distribution channel and the public health need
  • Within countries, we will seek to identify innovative strategies for differential pricing or other approaches that allow for greater flexibility to better reach at-need segments, pursuing partnerships with private, government or nonprofit resources and distribution channels
  • We will evaluate and address public health needs by working with our local healthcare providers globally to increase knowledge of product need and use; we will invest in activities to improve patient awareness and education

We recognize that we have an important role to play in helping to make our medicines and vaccines as accessible and affordable as possible for the people who need them.

In many countries, private health insurance plans are able to negotiate significant rebates and discounts with pharmaceutical manufacturers that enable patients to obtain healthcare and medicines at competitive prices.

For people in the United States who do not have prescription drug or health insurance coverage and who, without our assistance, could not afford their Merck medicine or vaccines, the Merck Patient Assistance Program provides medicines and adult vaccines for free.

In developing-world markets, we recognize that access and funding for healthcare can be limited. Therefore, we develop and support various sustainable strategies to improve access, including directing differential pricing to needy patient sub-segments. We currently have differential pricing for 19 of our products, and 49 countries have implemented intra-country pricing for at least one of our products.

In addition, we know that doctors and patients look to us to provide accurate and balanced information about our products. We adhere to strict ethical sales and marketing practices in each of our businesses, be it pharmaceuticals, vaccines, consumer health or animal health.

We believe that patients must be at the center of their healthcare. Merck is also committed to improving health literacy, which empowers people to make informed health decisions in the context of everyday life that range from individual health choices to healthcare policy. Health literacy varies greatly among countries, as shown in the recent European Health Literacy Survey of the University of Maastrich, which was completed with the support of the European Commission. Merck/MSD was not only a collaborating partner in the survey, but we also support several important country-specific initiatives aimed at clear communications that empower patients to make better healthcare decisions. In Germany, for example, Merck/MSD is collaborating with representatives of patient organizations and groups that support the elderly to revise the wording and layout of patient materials that provide information about our medicines in a more consumer-friendly way.

Additionally, we invest in activities aimed at increasing knowledge among patients and physicians, because we believe that providing support to third-party medical, scientific and patient organizations is an important way to improve health and advance patient care. Learn more.

Commercialization Summary 2011 2012
Products for which we have access pricing1,2 19 19
Countries where at least one product has intra-country pricing of public and private sectors3 49 49
Investment in patient- and provider-education programs $93.9M $91.1M
1 Differential pricing intended to facilitate access for the at-need population.
2 The number of products for which we have access pricing for 2011 has been revised to correct an error in our reporting.
3 Countries with an MSD trading entity.

Last Updated August 12, 2013