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21 November 2017

Animal health industry looks beyond antibiotics

UK, Milton Keynes, November 21, 2017 – MSD Animal Health (known as Merck Animal Health in the United States and Canada) is launching the white paper Time to Vaccinate – Looking Beyond Antibiotics at an event in London today.

Vaccination rates in the cattle, sheep and pig sectors remain low. The penetration rate for both infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) in cattle and toxoplasmosis in sheep currently sits at 22%. In pigs, vaccination for Glässer’s disease is around 26%. Time to Vaccinate – Looking Beyond Antibiotics aims to help lift those rates to protect animal health and welfare, as the industry reduces its antibiotic use, and moves to a more preventive approach on farm.

The paper is a collaboration between leading independent animal health experts which provides a comprehensive analysis of the scientific evidence in favour of preventive healthcare, including the potential for vaccination, to help reduce use of antibiotics. The paper is also a call to policy makers to support the industry in looking beyond antibiotics.

Dr Paul Williams, from MSD Animal Health explains. “Antimicrobial resistance has been widely highlighted as one of the urgent problems of our time. Alongside the medical profession, livestock farming has a part to play in curtailing the speed at which resistant microorganisms develop. The farming community is working hard to find more effective ways to reduce disease without compromising animal welfare, and in turn increasing productivity.

“To do this, the industry must focus on disease prevention, not disease treatment. This is achieved through high standards of biosecurity to reduce disease entering farms, good management, husbandry and hygiene practices and the focus of this paper – vaccination.

“The success of vaccination in preventing disease has significant potential to reduce antibiotic use, as has already been well demonstrated in the pig, poultry and aquaculture industries. With low penetration rates in the other livestock sectors at the moment, we hope the Time to Vaccinate initiative helps farmers and their veterinary surgeons make informed decisions about vaccination as part of their overall animal health plans.”

John FitzGerald, secretary general of the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance, contributed to the paper foreword and comments, “Vaccines are vital components in preventing a wide variety of diseases and a key tool in reducing antibiotic use.”

Copies of the white paper are available here


Use medicines responsibly. Please visit www.noah.co.uk/responsible for more information.

About MSD Animal Health
For more than a century, MSD, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. MSD Animal Health, known as Merck Animal Health in the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of MSD. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, MSD Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. MSD Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. MSD Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets.

‘Disease? Not On My Farm!’ is an initiative launched by MSD Animal Health to engage farmers in the importance of preventative herd health and proactive disease management on-farm, to overcome the perception that vaccination equates to a diseased herd.

For more information, visit www.msd-animal-health.com, follow us on Twitter @NotOnMyFarm and Facebook, or connect with us on LinkedIn

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA
This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’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; the company’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 the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company 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 the company’s 2016 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).