Celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Mectizan donation all year with our series of new videos. Second: The Solution…a tiny pill to combat a big problem.
Did you know that the biological compound for ivermectin was discovered in a soil sample collected on a golf course near Tokyo? In the 1970s, Dr William Campbell, a Merck & Co., Inc.,* scientist, led the development of ivermectin into an effective anti-parasitic drug called Mectizan. that was eventually approved to treat onchocerciasis (river blindness). For this achievement, Dr Campbell won a Nobel Prize in 2015. In 1987 Merck & Co., Inc. donated Mectizan to treat river blindness “to anyone who needed it anywhere in the world for as long as it was needed.” Former CEO Roy Vagelos Today, 35 years later, more than million treatments for river blindness are shipped to endemic countries each year. Thanks to this donation, we are stamping out river blindness.
*Merck is known as MSD outside the USA and Canada.