Underserved Population Receives Cholesterol-Lowering Medicine

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Sept. 19, 2009) — Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) announced today that it was the recipient of 5,100 bottles of Mevacor, a donation from Merck & Co, Inc., known locally as MSD. The donation, valued at more than US$1.3 million, will be given to Food For The Poor, a major partner of CMMB in the Dominican Republic.

In the Dominican Republic, over two-thirds of the country’s population lives in urban areas, where major health problems include heart disease. A large portion of this population has limited access to health care services. Mevacor lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood and may also reduce the risk of heart attack or other health problems in patients with risk factors for heart disease.

The donated medicine will be distributed by Food For The Poor to hospitals and clinics in cities throughout the Dominican Republic. Those hospitals and clinics are sites where the most vulnerable are able to receive free or low-cost health services and medicine to treat or control chronic illnesses.

Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor, speaks of the importance of this donation: “Food For The Poor’s mission is to improve the health, economic, social and spiritual conditions of men, women and children in Latin America and the Caribbean. To recipients and their families, this generous donation of medicine is invaluable. On behalf of those without a voice, please accept our heartfelt thank you.”

C_sar Simich, Managing Director of MSD in the Caribbean, said: “Merck embraces its social responsibility in the D.R. and recognizes the importance of expanding access to its medicines to help the underserved. Hence, we are pleased to be able to make this donation to a partner whom we know will get our medicines quickly and efficiently to those most in need.”

CMMB recently announced that it had received, to date, more than US$232 million in donated medicines and medical supplies in the first ten months of its fiscal year. This exceeds last year’s record-high amount of USD$191 million. In Fiscal Year 2008, CMMB provided these life-improving goods to 219 consignees in 40 countries. The organization’s outreach began nearly one hundred years ago, when an anesthesiologist volunteered his time to treat lepers in Haiti.

About Merck

Merck & Co., Inc. (which operates as Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) outside the United States) is a global, research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck currently discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service.

Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, feeds millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. We provide emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, visit www.foodforthepoor.org.

Jennifer Leigh Oates
Public Relations Coordinator
(954)427-2222 x 6054