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Rashmi Yadav(46) Arun Bisht(10)

Faiz Khan (15) Varun Grover(59)

Kumar Prashant(24) Mansi Grover(65)

Merck is the second-largest pharmaceutical company in the world. They are a global leader in consumer products and animal care. Mercks major researchers: Discovery of vitamin B1 First measles vaccine Cold remedies and antacids First statins to treat high cholesterol.

The pharmaceutical industry is constantly criticized for not taking a greater role in the access to life-saving drugs, particularly in developing nations. It involves Investment in R & D and Risk factor

It typically takes 10 to 15 years to develop one drug and costs between $800 million to $1.3 billion. Patents expire in 20 Years.. The main conflict for drug companies is between providing a potential cure or treatment for very sick people or maximizing shareholder returns.

The mission of Merck is to provide innovative, distinctive products and services that save and improve lives and satisfy customer needs, to be recognized as a great place to work, and to provide investors with a superior rate of return.

Merck s mission and values are aligned with their Corporate Responsibility approach. They clearly set out how they see their responsibilities in terms of global health, animal health and access to medicines, ethical and sustainable business practices, contribution to scientific advancement, good employee relations, and returning value to shareholders.

In 1980 s, a debilitating and agonizing disease affected more than 18 million people, many of them in Africa and Latin America.

Worldwide, as many as 120 million people were at risk for the disfiguring skin infections, painful eye lesions and eventual loss of sight caused by onchocerciasis, or river blindness. Caused by worm that breeds in fast flowing rivers. Major cause of blindness in west and Central Africa

Investment in R&D for a drug that could help treat onchocerciasis (River Blindness). The total potential market would be limited to sick populations in poor, remote areas of developing countries Poor people wont be able to afford the drug Return on Investment was a concern Supply Chain/Distribution issues

Despite all these challenges, Merck went ahead with the R&D to develop the drug MECTIZAN. No support from Govt and NGOs provided for distribution of drug. Drug distribution was done for free as a donation. Merck has donated 2.5 billion tablets of MECTIZAN, with nearly 700 million treatments approved since 1987. To date, Merck has invested approximately $35 million dollars in direct financial support for the MECTIZAN Donation Program, in addition to donating $3.9 billion worth of tablets.

The solution for delivering life-saving drugs to the most vulnerable populations must not lie solely in the philanthropy of the drug industry. Even if drug companies lower the prices of their drugs to make them more affordable, the poor still cannot pay for the necessary drugs. Therefore, the solution must be greater than the a few players in the global health arena, but encompass a long-term, sustainable partnership across all the players. Link to AV