Merck Applauds Colombia for First PAHO/WHO Verification of Elimination of River Blindness

  Merck Applauds Colombia for First PAHO/WHO Verification of Elimination of
  River Blindness

Historic Milestone Reflects Successful Collaboration Among MECTIZAN^® Donation
                             Program and Partners

Business Wire

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. -- July 29, 2013

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, applauds
the government of Colombia whose work with the MECTIZAN^® Donation Program and
The Carter Center-sponsored Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the
Americas led to today’s Pan American Health Organization, the World Health
Organization’s Regional Office for the Americas (PAHO/WHO), verification of
Colombia as the first country in the world to eliminate the transmission of
river blindness (onchocerciasis), using MECTIZAN (ivermectin). Onchocerciasis
is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness worldwide.

“We are humbled by the great work of the MECTIZAN Donation Program and its
partners in protecting future generations of Colombians from a disease that
carries devastating implications for people, families, healthcare systems and
local economies,” said Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive
officer, Merck. “It is tremendously rewarding to see the alliance of partners
achieve the long-held goal of making river blindness a disease of the past in

For more information, please view the news releases from:

  *Colombia Ministry of Health and Social Protection (Spanish)
  *MECTIZAN Donation Program
  *Carter Center-sponsored Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the

About the MECTIZAN Donation Program

In October 1987, Merck announced it would donate the medication MECTIZAN to
all who need it for as long as necessary until onchocerciasis is eliminated as
a public health problem. The MECTIZAN Donation Program reaches more than 100
million people annually.

In Latin America, since 1989, more than 10 million treatments of donated
MECTIZAN have been delivered by community health workers and non-governmental

About Merck

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countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our
commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies,
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Lainie Keller, 908-423-4187
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