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Merck Issues 2019/2020 Corporate Responsibility Report

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Report Demonstrates Merck's Approach to Long-Term Sustainability for Business and Society

Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today issued its 2019/2020 Corporate Responsibility Report. The report highlights the company's performance and progress in its four corporate responsibility priority areas of Access to Health, Employees, Environmental Sustainability and Ethics & Values.

"The multiple challenges we face as a global community in 2020 reinforce more than ever the importance of operating responsibly, following our mission of saving and improving lives and delivering sustainable value for our business and society," said Kenneth C. Frazier, Merck chairman and chief executive officer. "At Merck, we embrace our responsibility to be a force for good in the world – not only through our medicines and vaccines but also through our broader actions to address systemic inequities and to create an environment where all people are valued and respected."

The report reflects the company's belief that serving social good and achieving business success are deeply interdependent.

For the second year, Merck has published a separate environmental, social and governance (ESG) report that details progress toward the Global Reporting Initiative and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board standards. The company also has incorporated reporting against the new Culture of Health for Business (COH4B) framework focused on managing impact on health of employees, families and communities.

In line with Merck's focus on addressing health disparity, diversity and economic inclusion, some highlights from this year's report include:

  • Recognizing changing global access needs, Merck conducted a strategic reevaluation of its Access to Health Guiding Principles. A refreshed set of principles and key performance indicators to track the company's progress and performance are presented in the report.
  • Since July 2018, the company has donated and shipped more than 250,000 doses of its investigational vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO) in support of Ebola outbreak response efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Merck has committed to continuing to supply doses as needed to support ongoing outbreak response efforts in the DRC and neighboring countries.
  • Global distribution of our vaccines continues to expand; in 2019, approximately 73 percent of our vaccines were distributed outside the U.S., up from 28% in 2010.
  • Through the MECTIZAN® Donation Program, 344 million treatments were shipped to endemic countries for the elimination of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis (LF) in 2019.
  • Merck for Mothers, our $500 million initiative to help create a world where no woman has to die giving life, has now reached over 11 million women in 48 countries. In the U.S., the Safer Childbirth Cities initiative is catalyzing solutions to address racial disparities in maternal health in 10 cities and hopes to expand to 10 more in 2020.
  • Advancing our commitment to diversity and inclusion, 46% of the company's Board of Directors are now female. The company also became a signatory of the Valuable 500 aimed at cultivating a disability-confident workplace.
  • In 2019, diverse spend represented an 11 percent increase of our total procurement spend, exceeding our corporate goal of $2 billion with minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, LGBT-owned and disability-owned business enterprises. Supporting diverse suppliers positively impacts the communities in which we live and work.

Learn more about Merck's approach to corporate responsibility and progress on key initiatives in the 2019/2020 Corporate Responsibility Report.

About Merck

For more than 125 years, Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives. We demonstrate our commitment to patients and population health by increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases – as we aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the "company") includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. 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 the global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); 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; the company'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 the company's patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company 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 the company's 2019 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).

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