Merck and Co. Inc.
Merck & Co., Inc. should not be confused with Merck KGaA. While Merck KGaA is allegedly the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company and based in Germany, the U.S. company Merck & Co. became independent after the First World War. 
The UK subsidiary of Merck & Co is called Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD) which has two sites in the UK. Its headquarters and pharmaceutical research and development laboratories are located in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire and its manufacturing is located at Cramlington in Northumberland. 
From the Merck website: "At Merck, our business is discovering, developing and delivering novel medicines and vaccines that can make a difference in people's lives. But our mission also entails something more. As a Company, we seek to maintain high ethical standards and a culture that values honesty, integrity and transparency in all that we do. Company decisions are driven by what is right for patients. And we are committed to our employees, to the environment in which we live and to the communities we serve worldwide." 
This statement has to be seen in contrast with Merck's Vioxx scandal and their range of products, especially the absence of any Malaria treatment. "Malaria kills an estimated 2.5 million people a year, the majority of these African children aged below five years old. While western pharmaceutical companies have invested approximately £ 11bn over the past decade in "lifestyle drugs" for impotence, weight loss, baldness, smoking and ageing, the product development budget for the Tropical Disease Research (TDR) programme, a joint effort from the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank, and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), averages £ 6m per year. [..] It would be impossible for the drugs companies to make a profit in African and Asian countries where the average wage can be as little as £ 1 per day and, in Africa, economic growth is slowing by 1.3% per year as a direct result of malaria alone." (The Herald (Glasgow), August 20, 2004)
Merck provides different lists of products for patients and healthcare professionals. That for professionals includes medicines and a vaccine that are partly not approved yet.
Patients get information on:
- Rotateq, a rotavirus vaccine for children 
- Crixivan, an antiretroviral agent for HIV patients, recommended to be taken in combination with other antiretroviral agents 
- Emend, a medication to suppress nausea and vomiting as side effects of chemotherapy 
- Fosamax, an Osteoporosis medication 
- Fosamax Plus D, with added vitamin D 
- Maxalt, a painkiller for migraine patients 
- Propecia, treatment for male hair loss 
- Proscar, a medication for prostate treatment 
- Singulair, an asthma and allergy treatment 
- Vioxx, a painkiller for arthritis patients. The link  provided by Merck only shows Merck's hideous attempt to justify the Vioxx scandal (see below)
- Zocor, a cholesterol medication 
The Vioxx scandal
From the Guardian, March 16, 2006: "Thousands of patients are now suing manufacturers Merck after the company was forced to withdraw the painkiller, widely used by arthritis sufferers, in 2004. Data from its trials had emerged showing that it increased the risks of heart attack. David Graham of the Food and Drug Administration, the US drug regulator, said it could have caused up to 140,000 cases of heart disease in the US since it was licensed in 1999."
Merck keeps claiming they voluntarily withdrew Vioxx from the market. 
"Insider emails published by the Wall Street Journal reveal that Merck, the maker of Vioxx, was fully aware of the health risks of its COX-2 inhibitor anti-inflammatory drug as early as March, 2000. As is apparent from the published emails, there was a concerted effort to bury the negative evidence and even distort the drug trials by excluding heart patients from the Vioxx studies so that, "...the rate of cardiovascular problems for Vioxx patients would not be evident." " 
- Richard T. Clark, CEO and president
- David W. Anstice, president, Human Health-Asia Pacific
- Willie A. Deese, president, Merck Manufacturing Division
- Kenneth C. Frazier, senior vice president and general counsel
- Peter S. Kim, Ph.D., president, Merck Research Laboratories (MRL)
- Judy C. Lewent, executive vice president and chief financial officer
- Adel A.F. Mahmoud, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical advisor, Vaccines and Infectious Diseases
- Margaret G. McGlynn, president, Merck Vaccine Division (MVD)
- J. Chris Scalet, senior vice president, Global Process and Services, and Chief Information Officer
- Bradley T. Sheares, Ph.D., president, U.S. Human Health
- Per Wold-Olsen, president, Human Health - Intercontinental
Public Relations, Lobbying and Business Intelligence Firms
Merck appears as a client with Rabin Strategic Partners (A full-service consultany, public relations and communications agency) alongside Johnson & Johnson. However the nature of the link between the two companies is not divulged.
Merck & Co is also listed as a member of the American Benefits Council and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations in 2008.
Policy Exchange funding
Merck Ltd is reported to support the following patient groups...
- Cancer BACUP
- Cancer Care Cymru
- Ulster Cancer Foundation
- Bowel Cancer UK (formerly Colon Cancer Concern)
- Beating Bowel Cancer
- Mouth Cancer Foundation
- Let's Face It
- Get Ahead
- Beth Pearson, "Malaria: why make a killing?;It kills 2.5 million people every year, yet no one was interested in finding a cure. There just wasn't enough profit in it. Now scientists in Dundee are leading a pharmaceutical revolution", The Herald (Glasgow), August 20, 2004.
- Sarah Boseley, "G2: From test-tube to medicine cabinet: How a new drug makes it on to the market", The Guardian, March 16, 2006
- ↑ Merck Pharmaceuticals UK Welcome to Merck Accessed 13th December 2007
- ↑ MSD UK home page Accessed 13th December 2007
- ↑ Sanofi Pasteur MSD Annual Report and Accounts 2006
- ↑ Rabin Strategic Partners Our Clients Accessed 2nd January 2008
- ↑ Business Insights Patient Power: The shift towards more informed, more powerful consumers of drugs Accessed 5th February 2008
- ↑ The Gorlin Group Clients Accessed 20th March 2008
- ↑ Innovex Our Customers Accessed 12th February 2008
- ↑ Public Relations Organisation International Inforpress accessed 13th February 2008
- ↑ FischerAppelt Kommunikation Current & former clients Accessed 14th February 2008
- ↑ American Benefits Council Memberships Accessed 26th February 2008
- ↑ International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations Members Accessed 11th March 2008
- ↑ Social Market Foundation Annual Report 2005/06 Accessed 6th March 2008
- ↑ MERCK, Corporate Social Responsibility, Q1/2 2009 Grants & Donations to Institutions and payments to Patient Organizations United Kingdom.
- ↑ Merck Patient Groups Accessed 12th February 2008