Merck Canada working hands-on to advance maternal health as part of Community Action Day

KIRKLAND, QC, Sept. 21, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Merck Canada is pleased to announce that over a hundred of its employees rolled up their sleeves to volunteer at various non-profit community organizations for Merck Community Action Day, celebrated from coast to coast on September 21.

Now in its third year, the Merck Community Action Day aims to provide employees at all levels and all divisions of the organization with an opportunity to make a real difference in the communities they live in, while learning more about how these organizations make a difference. Working with organizations in the field of maternal health, Merck Canada has aligned its community day with the global "Merck for Mothers" commitment, a long-term initiative to create a world where no woman has to die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

"At Merck, we believe maternal health, and striving to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for women around the world, can have a significant positive impact on families, economies and societies, as well as empowering women themselves," said Cyril Schiever, president and managing director of Merck Canada Inc. "I'm really proud of all our employees who stepped forward to do their part for maternal health. As well, I'm delighted to see that Merck Community Action Day attracts a growing number of participants every year."

From the YWCA in Halifax to the Montreal Diet Dispensary, passing by EGADZ in Saskatoon to Terra Centre in Edmonton, Merck employees are doing their part for maternal health in Canada and abroad, by painting, participating in indoor and outdoor cleaning activities, collecting and sorting out supplies, or simply by holding a hand and striking up a conversation.

For the first time, over a dozen Merck employees had a unique opportunity to volunteer at Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC), in Mississauga, where they assembled life-changing "Physician Travel Packs" (PTP). Each pack contains essential medicines and medical supplies that help physicians working in developing countries treat up to 600 children and adults.

"The health of mothers and children is a shared concern of Health Partners International of Canada and Merck, and is at the heart of our partnership," said Glen Shepherd, president of HPIC. "By providing a volunteer packing team for our distribution centre, covering the contribution fee for 25 doctors every year and donating essential medicines to PTPs, Merck Canada stands out as one of our leading donors."

Merck Canada has a long-standing commitment to HPIC, having supported the organization since 1994, with a total of more than $8.9 million in donated medicines and over $600,000 in financial support. To date, in 2012, Merck has donated $70,000 to HPIC.

About Merck for Mothers
Merck for Mothers is a long-term effort with global health partners to create a world where no woman has to die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Announced in September 2011, the launch includes a 10-year, half-billion-dollar initiative that applies Merck's scientific and business expertise to making proven solutions more widely available, developing new game-changing technologies and improving public awareness, policy efforts and private sector engagement for maternal mortality. For more information, visit merckformothers.com.

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 medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer and animal 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 about our operations in Canada, visit www.merck.ca.

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 (www.sec.gov).

Image with caption: "On September 21, over a hundred of Merck employees volunteered at various non-profit community organizations for Merck Community Action Day. On the photo: Cyril Schiever, president and managing director of Merck Canada Inc. (CNW Group/Merck Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120921_C8567_PHOTO_EN_18240.jpg

Image with caption: "Michael Harpin, Executive Director, Industry Relations, HPIC; Nancy McGuire, Director, Philanthropy, HPIC; Christian Fulman, Director, Sales, Merck Canada inc.; Helen Crawley, Director, NGO Programs, HPIC. (CNW Group/Merck Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120921_C8567_PHOTO_EN_18244.jpg

SOURCE: Merck Canada Inc.

For further information:

Media Contacts:

Ani Armenian
Merck
514-428-3395

Suzanne Koukal
NATIONAL Public Relations
416-848-1628


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