KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced the appointment of Dr. Julie Gerberding, 59, as executive vice president for strategic communications, global public policy and population health, effective Dec. 15. In this newly created Executive Committee position, Gerberding, who most recently served as president of Merck Vaccines, will be responsible for Merck's global public policy, corporate responsibility and communications functions, as well as the Merck Foundation and the Merck for Mothers program. Gerberding will also lead new partnership initiatives that accelerate Merck's ability to contribute to improved population health, a measure of impact that is increasingly valued by governments and other global health organizations.
"Julie has been instrumental in making Merck's vaccines more accessible and affordable, particularly in emerging markets and many of the world's most resource-limited countries," said Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck. "Julie's leadership of our vaccines business and her exceptional track record in both the public and private sectors make her ideally suited to lead these areas and to advance our engagement with organizations around the world that, like Merck, are working to advance population health."
Gerberding joined Merck as president of Merck Vaccines in January 2010. Since then, Merck's vaccines are reaching more people than ever, and Merck became the global leader in the vaccine market based on sales. In addition, the Sanofi Pasteur MSD joint venture in Europe, Merck's European vaccine business for which Gerberding is the Board co-chair, has improved in both population reach and financial performance. She also helped lead the successful launch in India of the Merck Wellcome Trust non-profit joint venture for vaccine development, the MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories.
Prior to joining Merck, Gerberding served as director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 2002-2009 and before that served as director of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. Before joining the CDC, Gerberding was a tenured faculty member in Infectious Diseases at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). She continues as an Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF.
"People across health systems everywhere are realizing that no single organization can solve the complex challenges we face. Whether containing the current Ebola outbreak, increasing vaccination rates or improving the overall health of people in communities, partnerships between public and private sector organizations are essential," Dr. Gerberding said. "Merck has a unique role and a responsibility to contribute, and I welcome this opportunity to lead teams of experts who will help us achieve our mission of saving lives and improving health around the world."
Jacques Cholat, currently vice president, global vaccines marketing and commercial operations, has been appointed interim president of Merck Vaccines. "Jacques' leadership has enabled Merck to significantly expand the global reach of its global vaccines business," Mr. Frazier said. Cholat joined Merck from Sanofi Pasteur in November 2011, where he had served as vice president of Sanofi Pasteur international commercial operations since July 2002.
Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; Merck's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.
Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck's 2013 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site (www.sec.gov).
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