Established in 1958, the Merck Medical Outreach Program (MMOP) is the primary mechanism through which Merck donates its pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer health products for humanitarian assistance in the developing world and in support of disaster relief and emergency situations worldwide.
The MMOP, managed by Merck’s Office of Corporate Responsibility, is one mechanism through which we help to expand access to our products especially, in the developing world. The program enables Merck to donate critical pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer health products to a limited number of qualified, U.S.-based, private voluntary organizations (PVOs). The scope of MMOP varies from year to year and is influenced by changing medical needs in developing countries, the quantity of Merck medicines available for donation, and the random nature of natural and man-made disasters.
Donations of Merck medicines are made primarily through six qualified nongovernmental organizations (NGOs):
Each of these organizations has a long-standing relationship with the company; demonstrates integrity of purpose; provides assurance that Merck products will be securely warehoused and not diverted, mishandled or misappropriated; and has well-established programs for the ill and needy in developing countries. The company, through MMOP, monitors the NGOs and maintains the controls necessary for the proper distribution and handling of Merck medicines. Merck does not provide donations of expired products or of products with inadequate dating (allows for proper administration prior to expiration).
MMOP comprises three components:
The Merck Annual Product Allotment Program
Through this program, six qualified NGOs can order fully dated medicines of their choice from the company's current product line, up to an annually authorized amount. Through this innovative approach to donations, our partners can receive a sustained and predictable supply of needed medicines, crucial to the effective planning of ongoing humanitarian programs. The first program of its kind in the industry, it has served as a model for other pharmaceutical companies’ donation programs.
Ongoing Donations of Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines
Donations of Merck's pharmaceuticals and vaccines are made in response to proposals from our partners to address specific short- and longer-term objectives and needs of their programs around the world. We also offer medicines and vaccines to our partners proactively and as they become available, for use in their ongoing humanitarian programs.
Disaster and Emergency Relief
Merck's Disaster Relief program is designed to provide assistance during major disasters and to support efforts in preparedness and recovery. Merck's Office of Corporate Philanthropy serves as the central clearinghouse for information regarding Merck's companywide response to major disasters, and it works with the Office of Corporate Responsibility to make decisions related to our donations of cash, as well as medicines, vaccines and/or consumer health products through MMOP. For more information, please click here.
In conducting MMOP, Merck adheres to the World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines for Drug Donations. Merck played an important role in the development of these guidelines through our involvement in the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (PQMD), an alliance of NGOs and medical product manufacturers dedicated to raising the standards of medical donations to meet the needs of underserved populations and disaster victims around the world. We also worked with the United Nations and the World Economic Forum to develop the Guiding Principles for Public/Private Collaboration for Humanitarian Action.
In 2011, MMOP donatons of medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products supported child vaccination programs in the Dominican Republic and Paraguay; provided disaster assistance in the United States, Libya, Turkey and Central America; and reached many thousands more worldwide through the ongoing medical programs of our partner NGOs. For more information about our product donations to ACHAP, please click here.
In addition to MMOP, local Merck subsidiaries donated more than the equivalent U.S. market value of $5 million in products locally for humanitarian aid and disaster response.