On Giving Tuesday, Merck and the Merck Foundation announced the company will make an additional commitment of $10 million in support of COVID-19 relief efforts to help address health disparities and inequality among patients and communities.
With this commitment, Merck has contributed or committed more than $30 million in support of global, national and local COVID-19 relief efforts.
Merck says that in the United States, statistics show that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting communities and under-represented groups across the nation. Globally, pre-existing inequalities within society are also differentiating the impact of the disease. Approximately 90 percent of hospitalized patients have one or more underlying health conditions according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge for the global community. At Merck, we are working to support patients, health care professionals and communities across the world in the fight against this disease,” said Merck Chief Patient Officer Dr. Julie Gerberding in a prepared statement. “This new commitment will help advance health equity and address social determinants of health in our most vulnerable communities and patient populations.”
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Merck has donated medicines, protective personal equipment (PPE) for health care providers, and funding to relief organizations. Through Merck for Mothers, the company’s global initiative to help end preventable maternal deaths, Merck committed $3 million to help health systems tackling COVID-19 better meet the needs of pregnant women before, during and following delivery. Merck is also enabling its medically trained employees to volunteer their time to aid their communities while maintaining their base pay.