Merck Launches Maternal Health Awareness Campaign, Once Upon a Birth, with Actress Melissa Joan Hart

  Merck Launches Maternal Health Awareness Campaign, Once Upon a Birth, with
                          Actress Melissa Joan Hart

Hart Shares Story of Her Son's Birth to Honor Those Women Who Never Get the
Chance to Share Their Stories

PR Newswire


WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Every few seconds, in
every corner of the globe, a mother welcomes a baby into the world. A recent
U.S. online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Merck (NYSE:
MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, among 2,282 adults
aged 18 and up showed that nearly every parent (93 percent) characterizes this
moment as "life-changing." However, what is not often discussed is that
childbirth can be a very dangerous time. According to the World Health
Organization, every two minutes somewhere in the world a woman dies during
pregnancy or childbirth.This obviously has a devastating impact on a family
and their community.

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To address this global crisis – known as maternal mortality – Merck, a global
healthcare company, developed Merck for Mothers, a 10-year, $500 million
initiative to help create a world where no woman has to die giving life.Merck
for Mothers is proud to collaborate with actress and mother of three Melissa
Joan Hart to launch "Once Upon a Birth," a campaign designed to raise
awareness of maternal mortality in the United States.

"I was lucky to have had three healthy pregnancies and deliveries with great
medical care. I now know that this is not always the case, even for women
here in the U.S. I was surprised and saddened to learn that, despite medical
advancements, each day 800 women around the world die during pregnancy or
childbirth," said Melissa Joan Hart."As a mother, I'm passionate about this
issue, and I was excited to share the story of the day my new son, Tucker, was
born on Merck for Mothers Facebook page."

Today, exposure to, and awareness of, maternal mortality is extremely low in
the U.S.:

  oIn the past 12 months, only 11 percent of U.S. adults have read, seen or
    heard anything about the issue.
  oNearly half (46 percent) of U.S. adults do not know that maternal
    mortality impacts women here in the U.S.
  oAnd, most U.S. adults are unable to identify the leading causes of
    maternal mortality – postpartum hemorrhaging (59 percent were not aware
    this is a leading cause) and preeclampsia (66 percent were not aware this
    is a leading cause).

Yet, when people learned that women are dying during pregnancy and
childbirth, the majority (81 percent) of U.S. adults were outraged to hear
that these deaths are preventable, and the majority (70 percent) are upset
that more emphasis is not placed on reducing maternal mortality.

"As part of Merck's ongoing efforts to reduce the rates of maternal mortality
across the world, we hope to galvanize the American public around this issue,"
said Naveen Rao, M.D., Lead, Merck for Mothers. "All of us can play a role in
getting women the maternal care they need."

How To Get Involved

For every mother who's given birth, there's a story to be told.Merck invites
you to visit the Merck for Mothers Facebook page,, to learn more about this issue and join
Melissa Joan Hart in sharing a birth memory of the day someone you love was
born. Each story will trigger a donation from Merck to Join My Village, an
innovative social change initiative that empowers women and girls in
developing countries by increasing their access to health programs, and
educational and economic opportunities through the humanitarian organization

Making a Difference Through Merck for Mothers

The United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) seek to address the
world's greatest development priorities, with MDG 5 focused on reducing the
maternal mortality ratio by 75 percent by 2015.With this goal lagging the
furthest behind, Merck has joined the global effort and made a long-term
commitment to the issue.

Drawing on Merck's history of discovering innovative, life-saving medicines
and vaccines, Merck for Mothers is applying the company's scientific and
business expertise – as well as our financial resources and experience in
taking on tough global healthcare challenges – to reduce maternal mortality
around the world.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris
Interactive on behalf of Merck in September 2012 among 2,282 U.S. adults aged
18 and older, including 1,382 mothers. This online survey is not based on a
probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can
be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables
and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Jennifer Allen Woodruff at(908)

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well.
Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our
prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and
animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140
countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our
commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies,
programs and partnerships. For more information, visit and
connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Merck Forward-Looking Statement

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of
the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995.Such statements may include, but are not limited to,
statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough,
including future financial and operating results, the combined company's
plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are
not historical facts.Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and
expectations of Merck's management and are subject to significant risks and
uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the
forward-looking statements.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from
those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that all of
the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not
be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the
impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in
the United States and internationally; Merck's ability to accurately predict
future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck's patents
and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation
and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking
statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or
otherwise.Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially
from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck's
2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's other filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site


Contact: Jennifer Allen Woodruff, +1-908-423-6301
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