OVERVIEW: The charitable arm of a multinational pharmaceutical company, the Merck Company Foundation makes a handful of grants every year, usually large ones, to projects reforming policy and delivery systems related to chronic and infectious disease prevention and treatment in the developing world.
IP TAKE: The foundation also prioritizes bringing basic health care to severely underserved communities. Grant seekers are most likely to get Merck backing if they are creating systemic change in a part of the world where disease is rampant and there are few existing resources to address the problem.
PROFILE: Established in 1957, the Merck Company Foundation makes strategic investments to improve global health and its underlying human and physical infrastructure. The foundation invests in projects that support health, education and community well-being, both in the United States and abroad. Merck also invests in for-profit companies out of its Global Health Innovation Fund.
Its two main priorities, health and community, support the treatment and prevention of diseases, placing a particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, training for healthcare professionals and vaccine delivery. Merck also supports strengthening the policies and social structures that affect healthcare in an entire region. Indeed, believing that people do not receive vaccines because trained health professionals lack in developing areas, Merck trains health professionals in remote, resource-scarce areas.
Through its HIV/AIDS-related work, Merck funds projects that support underserved communities in both the U.S. and abroad. In this area, Merck tends to invest mostly in developing countries.
The foundation stresses the importance of partnerships among governmental and civil society actors, and tends to fund projects that get regional stakeholders to collaborate on improving healthcare for many people.
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