Merck Statement on U.S. Speaker Fees
Company Achieves another Milestone in Its Ongoing Transparency Initiative
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Oct. 19, 2009 - Today Merck & Co., Inc. said as part of its voluntary commitment to increase transparency the company has started disclosing payments to U.S.-based medical and scientific professionals who speak on behalf of our company or our products.
"Our reputation, and the trust that our customers place in us, depend in large part on how we conduct ourselves as a business," said Richard T. Clark, Chairman, CEO, and President, Merck & Co., Inc. "Increasing the visibility of our activities across all aspects of our business will enhance the public's trust and increase the level of knowledge and understanding of how Merck helps advance medical and scientific education and health care overall."
Merck supports a variety of medical and scientific education initiatives for the purpose of helping health care professionals achieve improved health outcomes for their patients. Merck believes that by delivering balanced medical and scientific information to health care professionals, we contribute to this goal.
Merck selects speakers, many of whom are considered to be medical or scientific leaders in their field, who have knowledge and expertise in the subject matter on which they will be speaking for participation in our programs. These programs are intended to help attendees achieve improved medical results for their patients and are conducted in compliance with FDA regulations and approved product labeling.
The first report covers payments made to speakers in the third quarter (July 1-Sept. 30) of 2009. It provides data for the 1,078 physicians and other health care professionals who participated in Merck speaking events in the quarter. On average, speakers participated in two programs each with the average payment totaling $1,548 per program. Payments being made in the third and fourth quarters of 2009 will be combined and disclosed in early 2010. Data will be reported annually thereafter. More information about our financial support of speaker activities conducted on or after July 1, 2009 is available at: www.merck.com/speakerpayments.
About the Merck Transparency Initiative
Merck is committed to industry-leading standards of transparency. Our transparency initiative includes a number of significant steps that we have already implemented and that we will be implementing in the coming months. This initiative is intended to respond to stakeholder feedback and public interest in various aspects of our business, and includes efforts to increase transparency in all major aspects of our operations, from research to sales and marketing practices. More information about Merck's transparency initiative is available at: www.merck.com/corporate-responsibility.
Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck currently discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The Company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service. For more information, visit www.merck.com.
This statement contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. The forward-looking statements may include statements regarding product development, product potential or financial performance. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Merck's business, particularly those mentioned in the risk factors and cautionary statements in Item 1A of Merck's Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, and in any risk factors or cautionary statements contained in the Company's periodic reports on Form 10-Q or current reports on Form 8-K, which the Company incorporates by reference.