We believe that health information is a universal right and that every person is entitled to accurate, accessible and usable medical information.
And we believe that we have a responsibility to protect, preserve and share the best current medical information to enable more-informed decisions, to enhance relationships between patients and professionals, and to improve health care outcomes around the world.
Highlighted below are examples of publications, policies, links and other resources for both patients and health care professionals.
The Manuals, known as the Merck Manuals in the U.S. and Canada and the MSD Manuals in the rest of the world, are among the most widely used medical information resources.
As a sign of our deepened commitment to worldwide medical information access, we have made the Manuals available for free in digital form in multiple languages to professionals and patients around the world.
The 20th edition of the Manual is now available in print. Published in March 2018, this new edition boasts 3,584 pages filled with the most up to date medical content written by over 350 medical experts. First published in 1899, the Manual is one of the most comprehensive medical references and it has been completely revised, redesigned and expanded in this new edition.
First published in 1899 as a small reference book for physicians and pharmacists, the Manuals have grown in size and scope to become among the world’s most widely used comprehensive medical resources. Over the years, the Manuals have been translated into 17 languages in print, and a consumer version has been published since 1997.
The U.S. is now the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, behind only Mexico. Despite this growth, the proportion of Spanish-speaking doctors has declined steadily over the last 30 years, and professionally translated medical information for Spanish speakers remains limited. Poor translation quality of online resources is another barrier to accessing reliable medical information. In February 2016, we announced that the Manuals were available in Spanish in the United States.
As the Manuals have evolved, they have continually expanded the reach and depth of offerings to reflect the mission of providing the best medical knowledge of the day to a wide cross-section of users, including medical professionals and students, veterinarians and veterinary students, and consumers.
“The best medical information worldwide is documented in English as a universal language, but unfortunately the advances in diagnosis and treatments for common medical conditions are out of reach for all the people around the world who don’t speak English. Having a resource translated into their native language is highly important to help increase their medical knowledge, which could make a difference between health and disease for families and entire communities.”
HECTOR GONZALEZ USIGLI, M.D.
MSD MANUALS AUTHOR
GLOBAL MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE 2020
In 2015, we embarked on our most aggressive and far-reaching medical knowledge initiative to date: Global Medical Knowledge 2020. Through this worldwide project, we aim to make the best current medical information accessible for more than 3 billion professionals and patients around the world by 2020. As part of this project, all of the Manuals will be made available for free online and through mobile apps in multiple languages.
We met our 2020 goal by launching this trusted medical educational resource in 10 languages, and in mobile apps in five languages. There are additional languages planned for 2018 and beyond. Online access to the Manuals should serve as a valuable tool for patients and caregivers when faced with the need to make health care decisions for themselves and their loved ones.
Through “Global Medical Knowledge 2020,” we are actively partnering with health care and patient organizations, companies and libraries throughout the world to fulfill our mission and make the Manuals readily accessible to all. The initiative is a direct reflection of our company’s broad corporate commitment to addressing unmet medical needs and improving global health.
Health Resources for Patients
According to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine,1 an estimated one-third to one-half of all patients in the U.S. reportedly do not take their medications as prescribed.
Twenty to thirty percent of new prescriptions are never filled at the pharmacy, and the majority of patients prescribed medications for chronic diseases have, after six months, taken less medication than prescribed or stopped the medication altogether.
The following resources are designed to help patients stay on course with their treatments and have better conversations with their health care providers about the medicines they have been prescribed.
Our company’s digital consumer engagement program, a free health-support program, offers resources that help consumers achieve their health goals by reinforcing healthy lifestyle choices, providing disease-specific education, supporting adherence to therapy and facilitating more productive interactions with health care professionals. The program also includes support and encouragement for caregivers, who are often engaged in the day-to-day care and treatment decisions of family members and friends.
Elements of the consumer engagement program include:
- Caregiver Resources
- Disease-specific support information including articles, slideshows, infographics and quizzes
- “Getting started” fitness ideas and recipe section
- A guide to better “Know Your Health Insurance”
- Low-sodium, low-fat, low-sugar, low-calorie cookbooks are available to download
- Ability to join our community on social media via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest
- Program app available on Google Play & Apple App Store
- Links to product savings coupons and free trial offers
THE ADHERENCE ESTIMATOR®
Patients often fail to reach clinical goals because they do not take medications as directed. We remain committed to the issue of medication adherence and to helping patients and customers with adherence-related programming and solutions that are scientifically based.
The foundation of our adherence program is the Adherence Estimator®. The Adherence Estimator is a validated, patient-based resource that gauges the likelihood of a patient adhering to a newly prescribed oral medication for certain chronic conditions. The Adherence Estimator asks questions about three key areas of patient perception that affect adherence:
- Concerns about prescription medication
- Commitment to a prescription medication
- Financial burden from the cost of a prescription medication
After respondents answer the questions, the resource provides information to enable the patient and health care provider an opportunity to discuss any concerns that the patient may have. In addition to our outcomes research studies, we continue to explore behavioral and motivational factors that contribute to non-adherence. With this new information, we will build tools and resources that will allow for a deeper conversation between patients and their health care professionals on behavior change to improve medication adherence. And to facilitate the conversation, we are exploring technology to get our adherence tools and resources the ability to integrate into workflow within electronic health records.
SPARTA is a proven adherence platform that supports patients on any of our company’s therapies to improve adherence to these medications while also providing access to various tools and resources to assist in the management of conditions.
SPARTA was created in Australia in 2009, in partnership with physicians and pharmacists who voiced the need for more robust patient support. In addressing this unmet need, modules were created to support enrolled patients in managing their chronic conditions. The modules consisted of various patient touch points (e.g., telephone support, disease education and text/email reminders) to help patients understand their condition better, realize the importance of diet and exercise in managing their condition and, ultimately, improve medication adherence. SPARTA grew from 60,000 patients in Asia-Pacific in 2013 to more than 250,000 patients across the globe in 2017.
In 2018, the program will continue its expansion into the new therapeutic areas of immunology, oncology and hepatitis.
Based on a recent analysis of 15,000 patients across three countries, more than 80 percent of patients taking part in the SPARTA program completed the 12 month program with improvements in their medication adherence as well as significant improvements in their dietary and lifestyle parameters.
SPARTA has been launched in Australia, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Oman, Taiwan, Mexico, UAE, Chile, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland and Ireland.
MSD SPARSH Healthline is a telephone-based diabetes-management support program available in India for patients treated for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (“T2DM”) with JANUVIA® (sitagliptin)/JANUMET® (sitagliptin and metformin HCl)/Janumet XR CP® (sitagliptin and metformin HCI extended-release).
SPARSH aims to improve therapy adherence among T2DM patients and improve their diabetes control by helping them adopt therapeutic lifestyle changes. The key elements of SPARSH include customized counseling on disease and lifestyle management along with text and adherence support.
Since 2009, SPARSH has enrolled more than 125,000 patients with over 15,000 GP’s participating in the program. A recent analysis of approximately 1,280 patients who had completed more than 14 months in the program showed that telephonic counseling facilitated significant improvements of dietary and lifestyle parameters in patients with T2DM.
With the disease management space changing rapidly in the last couple of years, we are working toward enhancing the current program offerings to broaden the program’s reach and help improve patient experience and disease outcomes.
Resources for Health Care Professionals
Univadis® is a comprehensive online medical-information resource from Aptus Health—a subsidiary of Healthcare Services and Solutions—for health care professionals worldwide.
This web- and mobile-optimized resource provides high-quality, relevant and trusted medical information essential for health care practice. The site features breaking medical news, accredited education courses and tools tailored by medical specialty and clinician need. Additionally, a point-of-care mobile application is available in key markets. Over 3.6 million health care professionals are registered members of Univadis, which is available across 63 specialties, 20 languages and 90 geographic markets.
The medical and scientific content comes from independent third parties, such as scientific leaders, educational institutions and medical societies, as well as through partnerships with a range of world-leading medical publishers. Sponsor organizations provide educational funding to expand and augment the site’s core content in adherence with the strict editorial principles of independence, relevance and quality.
With no subscription or registration fees, Univadis provides access to:
- The latest medical news and clinical developments in 60+ specialist areas
- Selected full-text articles from The Lancet and JAMA
- Weekly research summaries from major peer-reviewed publications
- Conference coverage from medical congresses
- Full online access to trusted medical references
- A library of thousands of medical images to enrich presentations and research
- A wide range of resources to enhance interactions with patients at the point of care, including interactive 3-D anatomy tools and patient handouts
Univadis creates unique opportunities for long-term and meaningful partnerships with scientific and health care organizations, in addition to the world-class publishers that our company already works with. Univadis aims to be a valuable partner in building lasting relationships with our 3.6 million individual health care users globally.