Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Our Responsibility

Real or fake? Even experts can't tell with the naked eye whether these tablets are originals or criminal counterfeits.
We take our responsibility seriously. Responsibility determines our entrepreneurial actions and characterizes our behaviour towards customers, employees and other key stakeholders. It is one of the core values we share as a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
Through our membership in the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest global corporate citizenship initiative, we embrace a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, anticorruption and the environment.
Underscoring this commitment, our reporting follows the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a global multi-stakeholder network which sets out a framework for sustainable development reporting.
This reflects another of our core values, that of transparency. Transparency makes mutual trust possible, through the involvement of all stakeholders through information.
Responsibility is multifaceted for us:  

Our responsibility begins with patients. The many unmet needs for breakthrough solutions are why we strive to discover and develop new therapies. Each year, We dedicate over 20% of total revenues or around EUR 1 billion to research and develop new treatments in our therapeutic areas of focus.

Our first responsibility is to help patients with serious, life-altering conditions for which there is currently no cure. We work to develop new treatments for major diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease as well as orphan drugs for rare conditions and disorders.

Our responsibility is fully engaged through our innovative drug products. We develop, manufacture and commercialize our pharmaceutical and biotech products according to the best practices of our industry.

  • We adhere to quality standards for the clinical development of active ingredients according to International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) guidelines for Good Clinical Practice (GCP). We are committed to ensuring that each patient is informed about the potential benefits as well as the possible risks of experimental therapy.
  • The manufacture of our chemical and biopharmaceutical medicines is carried out at production sites around the world in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
  • We adhere to a strict code of ethics when promoting our products to prescribers and other healthcare professionals. We adhere to the latest industry codes set by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) as well as local industry bodies. What’s more, we comply with the stringent “Pharmaceutical Marketing Best Practices,” which set the standard within our group for good and responsible marketing practices in regards to pharmaceutical products
Our responsibility naturally extends to the environment. Across our production sites on four continents, manufacturing is carried out according to our “Principles and Strategies for Health, Safety and the Environment” that implement the guidelines formulated by the national and international associations of the chemical industry in the Responsible Care® guidelines and in strict adherence to regional and local standards. We aim to minimize the environmental impact of our manufacturing activities through reduced energy and water consumption, reduced CO2 emissions, increased waste/recycling ratio (recycled waste/total waste).

All our production sites operate under ISO 14001 certification, the international standard for environmental excellence.

Responsibility for employees works both ways: we expect our employees to act responsibly and, in return, we recognize that entrepreneurial success starts with people.

Employees are asked to adhere to the Code of Conduct (“To do what is right”) that provides a clear framework for our relationships with various stakeholders and fosters integrity and compliance.

We are committed to recruiting and retaining the best talents in the industry and we are recognized as a leading employer in the biotech and pharmaceutical sector. We strive to create an environment in which individuals can add value and participate in the growth and development of our company. As a responsible employer, we offer attractive rewards and benefits, career development and training opportunities.

We make health and safety of our employees in the workplace a priority. This commitment is reflected in a number of prevention and educational programs as well as in rigorous safety procedures.

Over 200 million people in Africa suffer from schistosomiasis, above all children. We support the efforts of WHO to eliminate this insidious worm disease. Since 2007, our company has donated over 100 million Cesol®600 tablets with the active ingredient praziquantel.

To date, more than 28 million African children have been treated. We intend to increase the number of tablets donated in the medium term, raising the total to 250 million annually. This planned donation will have a value of around USD 23 million per year. In addition, we support an education program and are working on further improving the praziquantel formulation.

Interpol estimates that up to 30% of all medicines in emerging economies and developing countries are counterfeit. The Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF), a non-profit initiative funded by our company, has developed a compact mobile laboratory. With the Minilab, counterfeit medicines can be detected quickly, easily and cheaply.

To date, the GPHF has supplied more than 570 Minilabs at cost to over 80 countries.

In 2012, our company's subsidiaries participated in more than 120 projects. Altogether they invested EUR 8.7 million - whether in the form of monetary and supply donations, or voluntary work. The subsidiaries in Asia invested over EUR 5 million, followed by Europe, and North and South America. The regions primarily sponsored projects in the areas of health, culture and sports in the vicinity of our sites.