NEW MERCK BEGINS OPERATIONS WORLDWIDEToday outlined its global strategy following the completion yesterday of Merck's merger with Schering-Plough Corporation. The new Merck, operating as MSD outside the United States and Canada, is a global health care leader aimed at providing innovative, distinctive products and services that save and improve lives, while satisfying customer needs and creating long-term shareholder value.

"India is a key growth market for us. The Indian pharmaceutical Industry is one of the fastest growing amongst the emerging markets and we would surely like to complement that growth with our own.

As we have said in the past, we have a long term commitment to putting patients first, globally, and in India. This is both in terms of bringing best in class products and also making necessary investments to servethe Indian patients. This merger only makes our commitment stronger", said Dr. Naveen A. Rao, Managing Director, MSD Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd. Mr. K. G. Ananthakrishnan, Managing Director of Fulford (India) Limited and Organon (India) Limited., commented, “This is an exciting time for our company as we advance our position as a strong, global health care leader that will make a substantial difference to patients around the world. Thanks to the talent and dedication of our scientists and employees, the company will offer an outstanding clinical development pipeline that will greatly increase our ability to deliver important new medicines to patients. We look forward to continuing to meet and exceed the needs of our customers and providing them with the high-quality products and service they have come to expect.”

From the outset, Merck is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines and animal and consumer health products. This portfolio is complemented by a robust pipeline with more than 15 promising latestage candidates spanning critical therapeutic categories. Merck now has approximately 106,000 employees and operations in more than 140 countries around the world, including emerging markets. The company expects to generate more than 50 percent of its revenue outside the United States.