"Information is power and we're proud to be able to offer people information that will empower them to have productive conversations with their doctors about their health as well as the health of their family," said Robert Berkow, M.D., editor emeritus of The Merck Manuals and editor-in-chief of Your Health Now. "Like The Merck Manuals, Your Health Now provides up-to-date, easy-to-read and unbiased health information on important health topics that has been reviewed by an independent group of health advisors."
Each issue of Your Health Now will focus on a health topic or theme that has been selected based on the most frequently accessed topics on The Merck Manuals Web sites. Each issue also will feature an expert guest editor who will weigh in on a timely health issue related to that issue's theme. The magazine reviews recent medical research, answers common health questions and offers tips on pet health based on The Merck Veterinary Manual. In addition, Your Health Now provides the latest information on how patients without drug reimbursement coverage can get the medicines they need at discounted prices or free based on their financial need.
"Merck has a rich history of providing people with accurate, unbiased health information, such as information contained in The Merck Manuals. In fact, The Merck Manual Web sites have received more than 20 million visits thus far this year," said David A. Ruth, vice president, Corporate Communications, and executive vice president, The Merck Company Foundation. "Merck is pleased to offer health-conscious consumers this helpful, educational content in our new magazine, Your Health Now."
Your Health Now is developed for people who take an active interest and role in managing their health care or in their family's care. Copies of Your Health Now will be distributed free-of-charge to doctors' offices around the nation, local community health organizations and people who have requested health information from Merck. For subscription information, please visit www.YourHealthNow.com.
Advisory Board ensures unbiased content
In keeping with the 100-year tradition of The Merck Manuals, Your Health Now maintains strict editorial independence and does not promote any pharmaceutical medicines. In addition to Your Health Now Editor-In-Chief Dr. Robert Berkow, Dr. Mark Beers, editor-in-chief of The Merck Manual of Medical Information, serves as managing editor of Your Health Now. Contributors for Your Health Now include Cynthia Kahn, editor of The Merck Veterinary Manual, who authors the regular "Pet Care" column, as well as a guest editor for each issue.
To ensure independence, an Advisory Board of leaders from highly respected health organizations also reviews each issue to ensure that the magazine's mission of objective, relevant, consumer-friendly and non-promotional content is achieved. The Advisory Board includes Diane Blum from CancerCare, Dr. Jane Delgado from the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Dr. Dee Ann DeRoin from the American Academy of Family Physicians, and Amy Niles from the National Women's Health Resource Center.
"At some point, even the most educated person will encounter health information he or she cannot understand. In fact, nearly 90 million Americans have trouble understanding and using much of the health information that is available to the public(1)," said Jane Delgado, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. "People need sources of information that are both timely and easy to read. Your Health Now puts vital, understandable information at people's fingertips."
Skin health addressed in premier issue
The debut issue of Your Health Now is focused on skin health and encourages readers to evaluate their skin, in particular the impact the long summer season may have had on their skin's health. From common bumps and spots on the skin to tips for identifying and treating common skin rashes and other disorders, such as poison ivy and cradle cap, the inaugural issue provides an in-depth look at one of our most overlooked organs, the skin.
"It's amazing how little attention is paid to skin considering that this is the organ that wraps and protects our entire body," said Ellen S. Marmur, M.D., chief of the Division of Dermatologic & Cosmetic Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, and the guest editor for the first issue. "This first issue of Your Health Now arms people with simple tips for taking better care of their skin health, including how to do a monthly skin self-exam and how to identify signs of skin cancer."
About Merck Publishing Group
For more than a century, Merck Publishing, in cooperation with Merck Research Laboratories, has been dedicated to providing medical information that is current, concise and complete. Merck is committed to bringing out the best in medicine, and, as part of that effort, continues to proudly provide all of The Merck Manuals on a not-for-profit basis as a service to the community. Additionally, The Merck Manual, The Merck Manual of Medical Information - Home Edition, The Merck Manual of Geriatrics and The Merck Veterinary Manual are available free on Merck's Internet site at www.merck.com.
Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines in more than 20 therapeutic categories. The company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but also help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service. For more information, visit www.merck.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. The forward-looking statements may include statements regarding product development, product potential or financial performance. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Merck's business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements in Item 1 of Merck's Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2004, and in its periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K, which the company incorporates by reference.
(1) Nielsen-Bohlman L, Panzer AM, Kindig DA, eds., Committee on Health Literacy. Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion. 2004.