We believe that worldwide access to medicinal product information is one of the keys to improving health care and treatment for patients. For this reason, we support scientific research, patient organizations, health care organizations, health care professionals, and other key players in the health care industry by donating money and supplies. We furthermore sponsor activities such as independent initiatives and medical capacity advancement programs.
With this type of support, it is important for key players to remain neutral in order to protect the patients and ensure them the best treatment. All donations and sponsoring activities must comply with the internal and external standards that apply to the company's marketing operations. To meet our commitments as members of various associations, we furthermore transparently report on the support we provide.
Promoting research and education
To support the health care industry, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany makes monetary contributions and donates supplies to professional institutions, organizations and associations. These include medical science professional associations, hospitals and university clinics. Our engagement reflects our Values and makes it easier for research institutes and related institutions to do their work, which ultimately serves the common good. Our contributions are not intended to influence decisions regarding treatment, prescriptions or purchasing. In compliance with the code of conduct of the German Association for the Voluntary Self-Control of the Pharmaceutical Industry (FSA), the company publishes its contributions made in Germany in excess of € 10,000 per recipient per year and updates the information on an annual basis.
In order to promote advances in the field of medicine, the company sponsors research and advanced medical training across the world. The biopharmaceuticals business supports outstanding research projects through its in , , and . Through its Global Medical Education unit, the biopharmaceuticals business furthermore provides grants to independent medical education providers, which enables them to develop and deliver advanced medical training for scientists, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals. These service providers must fulfill certain criteria, including a proven track record of high-quality medical content and a system to assess educational outcomes. In addition, our Medical Education Funding Policy prohibits any third-party medical education provider or related party from conducting activities that promote Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany unless an adequate system to prevent improper influence and ensure separation of such activities has been instituted.
Collaboration with patient organizations
Patient organizations play an important role in providing patients, their family members and their caregivers with support for and information on dealing with diseases. With these institutions, we share the common goal of improving quality of life for patients, which is why we support this important work. The company explicitly endeavors to exert no influence or control over the information that the organizations communicate to their members. For comprehensive transparency, we publish our donations to European patient organizations on our and update the information annually. This enables us to fulfill a commitment we have made through our membership in the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations ().
The transparency requirements for interactions in and contributions to the health care industry are growing increasingly stringent. Global transparency initiatives such as the Sunshine Laws in the United States and the initiatives of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) require the disclosure of collaborations between the pharmaceutical industry and physicians, medical organizations, and patient organizations. They are also requiring companies to disclose individual partnerships, specifically naming the physicians in question, as well as to disclose the purpose of the interaction and the amount contributed. We have adapted the necessary processes, such as our contract management process, thereby ensuring compliance with the data protection laws. We will start reporting in 2016.