Merck and Award-Winning Actress S. Epatha Merkerson Challenge Americans with Type 2 Diabetes to Get to Their Goals

 Merck and Award-Winning Actress S. Epatha Merkerson Challenge Americans with
                    Type 2 Diabetes to Get to Their Goals

Stage and Screen Star Shines a Spotlight on Better Blood Sugar Management With
America's Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals Program

PR Newswire

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., April 23, 2014

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Merck (NYSE: MRK),
known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced it is
teaming up with Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson on
America's Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals, an educational program
intended to encourage people with type 2 diabetes to achieve better control of
their blood sugar -- a key goal to help reduce the risk of serious health
problems. Merkerson, who lives with type 2 diabetes, will travel the country
urging people to know their A1C (average blood sugar level over the past two
to three months) and to work with their doctors to set and attain their own
A1C goal.

America's Diabetes Challenge: Get To Your Goals

Nearly half of people with diabetes have an A1C greater than 7 percent, but
the American Diabetes Association recommends that many people with diabetes
should have an A1C of less than 7 percent to help reduce the risk of
complications. For certain individuals, a higher or lower A1C goal may be more
appropriate, which is why it is important for people with diabetes to speak
with their doctors to discuss the A1C goal that is right for them.

Merkerson was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2003 after having her blood
sugar tested at a health fair event and being urged to see her doctor. Despite
having a family history of the disease, Merkerson was unaware she had type 2
diabetes. After her diagnosis, Merkerson got serious about her health and
worked with her doctor to know her own A1C goal and make a personalized
diabetes management plan, which included diet, exercise and medication to help
her achieve that goal. By sticking to that plan—and making changes with her
doctor when necessary—Merkerson has kept her blood sugar under control.

"I lost my father and grandmother to complications of type 2 diabetes," says
Merkerson, "So I learned firsthand how important it is to know your A1C and
make a commitment to getting to your goal. That's why I'm excited to work with
Merck on America's Diabetes Challenge to help people learn about proper blood
sugar management and inspire them to set and attain their own goals."

Merkerson is encouraging people with type 2 diabetes to accept America's
Diabetes Challenge by pledging to know their A1C and to talk to their doctor
about setting and attaining their own blood sugar goals. Friends and family
can also pledge to challenge their loved ones to get to their goals. People
with type 2 diabetes who take the challenge can stay motivated by completing
missions available on www.AmericasDiabetesChallenge.com that will help them
work with their doctor to come up with an individualized treatment plan that
is right for them.

"Many people with type 2 diabetes do not realize that high blood sugar levels
over time can lead to serious long-term health problems," said Robin Goland,
M.D., professor of medicine and pediatrics at Columbia University and
co-director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical
Center in New York. "Lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, along with
medications, when prescribed by your doctor, all play important roles in
helping people with type 2 diabetes get to their A1C goal. It's critical for
people with type 2 diabetes to work with their doctors to come up with an
individualized treatment plan that is right for them, then track the progress
and adjust the plan if needed."

Most people with diabetes are aware of the importance of controlling high
blood sugar, but it's also important for them to understand why blood sugar
can sometimes go too low. For people on certain diabetes medications, low
blood sugar can be caused by skipping meals or excessive exercise and can make
you feel shaky, dizzy, sweaty, hungry, and sometimes, faint. Make sure your
doctor explains the signs and symptoms of high and low blood sugar to you and
let him or her know if you are experiencing any of those symptoms.

"At Merck, we are committed to helping people with type 2 diabetes achieve
their A1C goal. About 50 percent of patients with diabetes are not at an A1C
of less than 7%, despite their diagnosis and treatment plan," said Arpa Garay,
U.S. marketing leader, Diabetes Franchise, Merck. "We recognize that living
with type 2 diabetes can be challenging and are thrilled to work with S.
Epatha Merkerson to help empower more people with type 2 diabetes to talk to
their doctor about a personalized treatment plan that will help them reach
their goals."

For more information about Merkerson's story, the America's Diabetes Challenge
program, and to make a pledge to set and attain your own blood sugar goals,
visit www.AmericasDiabetesChallenge.com.You can also join the America's
Diabetes Challenge community by visiting
Facebook.com/AmericasDiabetesChallenge.

About S. Epatha Merkerson
S. Epatha Merkerson is a celebrated film, stage and television actress known
for her long-running role as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren in the television
series Law & Order. Merkerson has won multiple awards, including an Emmy,
Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and NAACP Image Award for her work in
Lackawanna Blues. Merkerson has also been nominated twice for a Tony Award and
later this year will be returning to the theatre in the New York debut of
While Yet I Live, by Kinky Boots star Billy Porter. Merkerson was diagnosed
with type 2 diabetes in 2003 and is now working with Merck on America's
Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals to provide resources that help people
with type 2 diabetes talk to their doctors, develop an individualized
treatment plan, and stick to that plan.

About America's Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals
America's Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals is an educational program from
Merck urging people with type 2 diabetes to know their A1C and talk to their
doctor about setting and attaining their own blood sugar goals. For more
information on America's Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals, and to pledge
to work with your doctor to reach your blood sugar goals, visit
www.AmericasDiabetesChallenge.com.

About Type 2 Diabetes
Nearly 26 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 90% to 95% of
these people have type 2 diabetes. One in three American men and 2 in 5
American women born in 2000 will develop diabetes sometime during their
lifetime.

When someone has type 2 diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin and/or
the insulin that the body makes does not work properly. This causes blood
sugar levels to become too high, and the body may also keep making sugar even
though it does not need it. Once a person has type 2 diabetes, it does not go
away, and having diabetes can lead to serious health problems, such as heart
disease and stroke.

People with type 2 diabetes can reduce their risk of serious complications by
setting individual goals to manage the ABCs of diabetes -- A for A1C, also
known as blood sugar, B for blood pressure and C for cholesterol.

It is recommended that many people with diabetes have an A1C of less than 7
percent to help reduce the risk of complications, and nearly half of people
with diabetes are not at an A1C of less than 7 percent. A higher or lower A1C
goal may be appropriate for some people, which is why it is important for
people with diabetes to speak with their doctors about what goal is right for
them.

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.

Media Contacts: Pam Eisele     Investor Contact: Carol Ferguson
                (908) 423-5042                    (908) 423-4465
                Megan Wilkinson                   Justin Holko
                (267) 305-6463                    (908) 423-5088

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140421/76955

SOURCE Merck

Website: http://www.merck.com
 
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