How Merck Canada is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

We are inspired by a shared vision and mission to save and improve lives and have been committed to fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic from the beginning. This includes both our investment in research that could help protect Canadians from this and future pandemics, as well as supporting the communities in which we work and live in.

Investing in COVID-19 therapies

Vaccines are playing a crucial role in helping prevent the spread and seriousness of cases of COVID-19, but they alone will not eliminate the virus. To help keep Canadians safe, more tools and treatments are urgently needed to fight COVID-19, which is why we are investing in research for potential treatments that will have a meaningful and direct impact on patients suffering with COVID-19.

We believe a range of medicines and vaccines will be needed to end the pandemic. That’s why Merck and Ridgeback Bio entered into a collaborative agreement last year to develop and commercialize molnupiravir, our investigational oral antiviral therapy.

“If approved for use, molnupiravir has the potential to address an important unmet need for an effective and simple at home treatment for patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, with the potential of avoiding potential hospitalization or death.”

— Gretty Deutsch, Vice-President, Medical Affairs, Merck Canada Inc.

In August of 2021, we submitted to Health Canada a rolling submission for molnupiravir. This process allows for the review of early safety, quality and efficacy data while later-stage clinical trials take place.

As well, our commitment to keep improving the lives of Canadians means we know when we must lend a hand and collaborate across borders and companies. That’s why we have entered a partnership to support the manufacturing and supply of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

“Investment in vaccines and antivirals medicines will ensure Canadians’ health and economic security. Unfortunately, viral outbreaks will continue to happen, and we need a different kind of preparedness, which will take political and industry leadership.”

— Marwan Akar, President and Managing Director of Merck Canada

Investing in our communities

We have always helped empower the communities we have the privilege to work with. During the pandemic we have invested funds in numerous local Canadian organizations that work on the frontlines. We have also strategically invested funds to ensure that PPE has been available where it has been needed most.

How we are showing up:

  • $100,000 contribution for the purchase of PPE through Innovative Medicines Canada for distribution across the country
  • $200,000 in sponsorships for patient associations to support patient programs to ensure continued care for cancer patients, including support for diagnosis and treatment
  • $100,000 in financial support for relief efforts for vulnerable populations to various charitable organizations across Canada, including the Canadian Red Cross, Food Banks Canada, and the United Way
  • Encouragement of employees to support their communities, including allowing medically trained employees to volunteer their time to aid in our healthcare system where needed.