Darmstadt, Germany, November 14, 2016 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany a leading science and technology company, announced today it now ranks fourth in the 2016 Access to Medicine Index, climbing two ranks since the last Index in 2014. The company’s ranking by the Access to Medicine Foundation is a recognition of the company's strategy of including access to health within its core business and of leveraging its competencies, expertise and experience across the whole value chain to address the needs of unserved and underserved populations.

“Our outstanding performance in the 2016 ATM Index underlines our commitment to help people in low- and middle-income countries that lack access to affordable healthcare. Access to Health has become a strategic priority for us and we are very pleased that our efforts have been recognized by the ATM Foundation," said Belen Garijo, member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and CEO Healthcare.
“We have made outstanding progress in the last five years and we remain committed to sustainably deliver healthcare solutions to help the two billion people worldwide, who still lack access to effective and affordable healthcare,” Garijo added.
Every two years, the Access to Medicine Foundation, through its Index, benchmarks the top pharmaceutical companies on activities and initiatives that experts consider most relevant for access to medicine, ranging from donations, and patents to capacity-building. The 2016 ATM Index specifically recognized Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany for its access-related targets that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for its leadership in capacity-building and for having one of the most transparent approaches to Intellectual Property (IP) management. Furthermore, the company engaged in various R&D partnerships and files to register a high proportion of its newest products in high-burden countries, acknowledged the Foundation.

Progressing from the last Index in 2014, the company has been particularly recognized by the Access to Medicine Foundation for leading practices such as:
Clarity in approach to access-related Intellectual Property by indicating where it holds patents, where it will not file for or enforce patents
Capacity-building, with a range of initiatives, including long-term engagement in detecting suspected counterfeit medicines through the Global Health Pharma Fund and local skill gap and awareness strengthening in Indonesia and the Philippines
Scaled-up Su-Swastha Program that aims to increase access to quality healthcare products at an affordable price and address the lack of healthcare infrastructure in rural India
Supporting vaccine manufacturers of developing countries by sharing expertise on safety and quality in biologic manufacturing with network members including those in Bangladesh, Egypt and Vietnam
Providing support, expertise and regular quality manufacturing training to local third-party plant managers through the Virtual Plant Team
Continuous effort to control Schistosomiasis through a holistic approach, including its Praziquantel Donation Program in cooperation with WHO

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s improved ATM Foundation Index ranking reflects the company’s overarching commitment to improving sustainable access to high quality solutions for underserved populations and communities, regardless of their geographic location or ability to pay. The company’s Access to Health (A2H) approach leverages it’s cross-business and functional skills, competencies and expertise through its “4As of Access” priorities: Availability, Affordability, Awareness and Accessibility.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany recognizes that partnership, collaboration and continuous dialogue with a diverse array of public and private stakeholders are key to ensuring that the delivery of sustainable access solutions is serving people’s needs.

Access to Medicine Foundation
The Access to Medicine Foundation is an international not-for-profit organisation dedicated to addressing the challenges of access to medicine worldwide. Based in the Netherlands, the Foundation publishes the Access to Medicine Index every two years since 2008, the first Index of its kind to rank top 20 research-based pharmaceutical companies with respect to their efforts to improve global access to medicine.
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Access to Medicine Index
The goal of the Access of Medicine Index is to supply pharmaceutical companies, investors, governments, academics, non-governmental organisations and the general public with independent, balanced and cohesive information on individual pharmaceutical companies’ efforts to improve global access to medicine. The foundation every two years ranks 20 medium to large-size pharmaceutical companies with respect to their efforts to enhance global access to medicine. This year, the ATM Foundation established a new weighting for each of the four strategic pillars being Commitments, Transparency, Performance and Innovation, with a heavier emphasis on Performance.