Merck and Co Inc   (MRK)
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Merck and Co Inc

Business Description

Merck & Co., Inc., is a global research-driven pharmaceutical products company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of innovative products to improve human and animal health, directly and through its joint ventures. The Company sells its products primarily to drug wholesalers and retailers, hospitals, clinics, government agencies and managed health care providers such as health maintenance organizations and other institutions. The Company’s professional representatives communicate the effectiveness, safety and value of its products to health care professionals in private practice, group practices and managed care organizations.

The Company’s products include therapeutic and preventive agents, generally sold by prescription, for the treatment of human disorders. Among these are atherosclerosis products, of which Zocor (simvastatin) is the largest-selling; hypertension/heart failure products, the most significant of which are Cozaar (losartan potassium), Hyzaar (losartan potassium and hydrochlorothiazide), and Vasotec (enalapril maleate); anti-inflammatory/analgesics, which include Vioxx (rofecoxib) and Arcoxia (etoricoxib), agents that specifically inhibit the COX-2 enzyme, which is responsible for pain and inflammation (“coxibs”); an osteoporosis product, Fosamax (alendronate sodium), for treatment and prevention of osteoporosis; a respiratory product, Singulair (montelukast sodium), a leukotriene receptor antagonist for treatment of asthma and for relief of symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis; vaccines/biologicals, of which M-M-R II (measles, mumps and rubella virus vaccine live), Varivax (varicella virus vaccine live), a live virus vaccine for the prevention of chickenpox, and Recombivax HB (hepatitis B vaccine [recombinant]) are the largest-selling; anti-bacterial/anti-fungal products, which includes Primaxin (imipenem and cilastatin sodium), as well as newer products Cancidas (caspofungin acetate) and Invanz (ertapenem sodium); ophthalmologicals, of which Cosopt (dorzolamide hydrochloride and timolol maleate ophthalmic solution) and Trusopt (dorzolamide hydrochloride ophthalmic solution) are the largest-selling; a urology product, Proscar (finasteride), for treatment of symptomatic benign prostate enlargement; and HIV products, which include Crixivan (indinavir sulfate) and Stocrin (efavirenz), for the treatment of human immunodeficiency viral infection in adults.

Other primarily includes Maxalt (rizatriptan benzoate), for the treatment of acute migraine headaches in adults, Propecia (finasteride), for the treatment of male pattern hair loss, and other non-promoted products and pharmaceutical and animal health supply sales to the Company’s joint ventures and revenue from the Company’s relationship with AstraZeneca LP, primarily relating to sales of Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium) and Prilosec (omeprazole).

Our business is preserving and improving human life and animal health. All of our actions must be measured by our success in achieving this goal. Above all, we value our ability to serve patients who can benefit from the appropriate use of our products and services. We are dedicated to providing the highest level of professional excellence and health delivery systems. We strive to identify the most critical needs of health care professionals and consumers, and we devote our resources to meeting those needs.

Competition — The markets in which the Company’s pharmaceutical business is conducted are highly competitive and often highly regulated. Global efforts toward health care cost containment continue to exert pressure on product pricing and access.

Such competition involves an intensive search for technological innovations and the ability to market these innovations effectively. With its long-standing emphasis on research and development, the Company is well prepared to compete in the search for technological innovations. Additional resources to meet competition include quality control, flexibility to meet customer specifications, an efficient distribution system and a strong technical information service. The Company is active in acquiring and marketing products through joint ventures and licenses and has been refining its sales and marketing efforts to further address changing industry conditions. To enhance its product portfolio, the Company continues to pursue external alliances, from early-stage to late-stage product opportunities, including joint ventures and targeted acquisitions. However, the introduction of new products and processes by competitors may result in price reductions and product replacements, even for products protected by patents. For example, the number of compounds available to treat diseases typically increases over time and has resulted in slowing the growth in sales of certain of the Company’s products.

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