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Merck for Mothers Working to End the Tragedy of Women in America Dying in Childbirth and Pregnancy



  Merck for Mothers Working to End the Tragedy of Women in America Dying in
                           Childbirth and Pregnancy

Initial commitment of $6 million dedicated to addressing growing U.S. problem

PR Newswire

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Nov. 19, 2013

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Merck (NYSE: MRK),
known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that Merck
for Mothers has launched programs aimed at decreasing the number of women
across the United States who die from or suffer severe complications related
to pregnancy and childbirth.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:
http://www.multivu.com/mnr/62776-merck-for-mothers-working-to-reduce-maternal-mortality-rate
 

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131119/MM18237 )

The maternal mortality rate in this country has nearly doubled since 1990,
despite significant progress in reducing rates globally.  In addition, more
than 50,000 women a year in the United States – one every 10 minutes – nearly
die from a severe complication they experience during pregnancy or childbirth.

"The rate of maternal mortality is increasing here in the United States. The
tragedy is that many of these deaths are actually preventable," said Kenneth
C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck. "Merck is working
with partners around the globe to help improve the situation everywhere,
including in the United States, to create a world where no woman dies while
giving life."

With work already under way in more than 20 countries including Brazil, India,
Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia Merck for Mothers is now working in the United
States to address the following areas:

  o Enhancing community initiatives that coordinate care for high-risk women
    before, during, and after childbirth, so they have access to services that
    encourage good health during and beyond pregnancy;
  o Implementing standard approaches to address obstetric emergencies; and
  o Strengthening data collection and reviews to better understand why
    maternal deaths are occurring and using that knowledge to improve
    practices and patient care.

In the United States, Merck for Mothers is partnering with: the American
Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, District II; the Association of
Maternal and Child Health Programs; the Association of Women's Health,
Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; Baltimore Healthy Start; California Maternal
Quality Care Collaborative; Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers;
Maternity Care Coalition; and the Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership.

About Merck for Mothers

Merck for Mothers is a 10-year, $500 million initiative focused on creating a
world where no woman dies giving life. Drawing on the company's history of
discovering innovative, life-saving medicines and vaccines, Merck for Mothers
is applying Merck's scientific and business expertise – as well as its
financial resources and experience in taking on tough global healthcare
challenges – to reduce maternal mortality around the world. For more
information, visit www.merckformothers.com and connect with us on Facebook.

Merck for Mothers Collaborations in the U.S.

  o American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – District II
    (Project State: New York) is working with more than 10,000 healthcare
    providers and approximately 130 birthing facilities to develop and
    implement standard approaches for handling -emergency obstetric events:
    hemorrhage (severe bleeding), venous thromboembolism (blood clots), and
    severe hypertension (high blood pressure).
  o Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (Project States:
    Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Ohio) is
    strengthening state-based maternal mortality review boards across states
    to translate lessons learned into policies and practices that improve
    maternal health outcomes.
  o Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (Project
    States: Georgia, New Jersey, Washington, D.C.) is working to improve
    current responses to postpartum hemorrhage (excessive bleeding) to
    increase clinicians' ability to recognize and treat women.
  o Baltimore Healthy Start (Project City: Baltimore, Maryland) is working
    with community-based clinics to improve prenatal and primary care for
    women facing chronic conditions.
  o California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (Project State: California)
    is using innovative large-scale implementation strategies with all
    birthing facilities in the state to adopt quality improvement toolkits for
    obstetric hemorrhage (severe bleeding) and preeclampsia (high blood
    pressure) to help reduce maternal mortality and morbidity.
  o Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers (Project City: Camden, New
    Jersey) is working with state agencies, community partners, and healthcare
    providers to design a model for medically complex pregnant women that
    improves data sharing among providers, coordinates multidisciplinary care
    during pregnancy and seamlessly connects mothers to postnatal healthcare.
  o Maternity Care Coalition (Project City: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is
    running "Safe Start MOMobile," a home-visiting program that partners
    community health workers with at-risk pregnant women to provide them with
    the health education and support they need to reduce their risk of poor or
    catastrophic outcomes during pregnancy and childbirth. Maternity Care
    Coalition assists women in managing their chronic conditions and following
    their doctor's recommendations using innovative technologies to reinforce
    health and wellness goals between visits.
  o Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership (Project City: New York, New
    York) is offering preventative programs to reduce the incidence of chronic
    health conditions among women of reproductive age.

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 www.merck.com and
connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

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. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and
expectations of Merck's management and are subject to significant risks and
uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or
uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set
forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry
conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate
and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry
regulation and health care legislation in the United States and
internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment;
technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors;
challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory
approval; Merck's ability to accurately predict future market conditions;
manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international
economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck's
patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to
litigation, including patent 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 2012
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
(www.sec.gov).

SOURCE Merck

Website: http://www.merck.com
Contact: Jennifer Allen Woodruff, (908) 423-6301, Kelley Dougherty, (908)
423-4291, Investor Contact: Carol Ferguson, (908) 423-4465
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