Thursday, October 08, 2009

300 Doctors at your Fingertips: New Merck Manuals Deliver Convenient and Trusted Medical Information to Consumers

Easy-to-Understand Reference Book and iPhone App Provide In-Depth Medical Information, Focus On All Life Stages

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Oct. 8, 2009 - Doctors are considered the most trustworthy source of health information, according to a recent survey, yet consumers typically don’t have 24/7 access to their physicians. Recognizing that need, Merck & Co., Inc. today released its new medical book, The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook and a new iPhone® application (app) The Merck Manual – Home Edition, written by more than 300 key worldwide medical experts.

A new Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) survey commissioned by Merck, reports that approximately two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers turn to physicians and medical professionals as their most trusted source of health information. According to the survey, the number one reason was because of their verifiable health credentials.

As one of the most comprehensive and current medical books addressing health issues across all life stages, The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook includes informative or specialized sections on the specific medical hurdles that children and the aging population face, as well as timely health topics such as the H1N1 (Swine) Flu. The new book breaks down complicated health conditions into an easy-to-understand format, making comprehensive health information available to everyone.

“When it comes to something as important as health, people need to be educated and empowered to make smart decisions for themselves and their families, in consultation with their health care providers. We feel it is Merck's responsibility to aid in this effort by giving them the reliable and trustworthy information they need,” said Dr. Richard Pasternak, vice president, Head Global Scientific Affairs & Scientific Leadership. "And better yet, give them the information in everyday language that's easy to understand.”

The new app, developed in collaboration with Agile Partners, is designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod touch and contains the same material as The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook. It brings consumers added convenience in accessing key information wherever they are. Featuring an easy-to-use interface, the app enables users to quickly find information, share topics via e-mail and bookmark favorite subjects.

"Our new Merck Manual – Home Edition iPhone app is perfect for today's on-the-go consumers of health information," said Robert S. Porter, MD, editor-in-chief of The Merck Manuals. "In addition to the latest health care and medical information, we included a practical 'Emergencies and Injuries' section that is accessible from the app home screen." A new app of The Merck Manual – Professional Edition is also now available for doctors, nurses and other health care professionals.

For more information about Merck and The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook, please visit or

For more information about The Home Edition and Professional Edition iPhone apps, please visit

Not-for-Profit Service

In addition to The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook, Merck also publishes The Merck Manual – Professional Edition, The Merck Manual of Health and Aging, The Merck Manual of Patient Symptoms, The Merck Index of Chemicals and Biologicals, The Merck Veterinary Manual, and The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health, as a not-for-profit service.

About Merck

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck 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. For more information, visit

About Agile Partners

Agile Partners Technologies, LLC, is a leading developer of iPhone applications. Agile Partners' applications for the iPhone and iPod touch include GuitarToolkit, one of the apps on the Top Grossing list in the iTunes App Store, TabToolkit and Star 6. Founded in 2002, Agile Partners has locations in New York and Chicago. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. The forward-looking statements may include statements regarding product development, product potential or financial performance. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Merck's business, particularly those mentioned in the risk factors and cautionary statements in Item 1A of Merck's Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, and in any risk factors or cautionary statements contained in the Company's periodic reports on Form 10-Q or current reports on Form 8-K, which the Company incorporates by reference.

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