[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 29-Apr-2013
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Contact: Kelly Goss, Media Relations
913-422-6846
kelly.goss@merck.com

Contact: Carol Ferguson, Investor Relations
908-423-4465
carol.ferguson@merck.com
Merck

Merck Animal Health announces Vetsulin

Now available to the US veterinary market

SUMMIT, NJ—April 29, 2013 – Merck Animal Health today announced that Vetsulin® (porcine insulin zinc suspension), the only FDA-approved insulin for use in both dogs and cats is now available to veterinarians throughout the United States. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats ranges from one in 1001 to one in 500, 2 and the number of dogs diagnosed with the disease has tripled during the past 30 years.3 Today, along with proper diet and exercise, Vetsulin plays an important role in successfully managing diabetes in both dogs and cats.

"We are pleased that Vetsulin is again available in the U.S. market; offering our customers the same product benefits that veterinarians worldwide have relied on for the past 20 years," said Christopher Pappas, D.V.M., Director, Technical Services, Merck Animal Health. "At Merck Animal Health, we are committed to providing our full support to veterinarians as they manage the health of dogs and cats living with diabetes."

While only 50 percent of dogs used to survive the first 60 days following a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, today, dogs receiving the proper treatment have the same expected lifespan as a non-diabetic dog of the same age and gender. 3 With effective treatment, lifestyle changes and monitoring, a diabetic cat also can have the same expected life span as a non-diabetic cat of the same age.

Getting the disease under control is paramount to survival. In a study of dogs treated with Vetsulin, adequate glycemic control was achieved in an average of 81 percent of dogs, 4 and in a pivotal U.S. study of diabetic cats, Vetsulin reduced all major diabetes indicators to within normal range by day 60 of treatment.5,6

Merck Animal Health is committed to supporting veterinarians in the ongoing treatment of their patients, including making diabetes professionals available to answer questions. An in-depth website (http://www.vetsulin.com) provides tools for both veterinarians and pet owners to make monitoring blood glucose levels easier. A wide variety of pet owner educational materials also can be found on the website, including downloadable guides from step-by-step instructions for giving an insulin injection to a management monitoring sheet to keep track of a pet's progress.

Vetsulin should not be used in dogs or cats known to have a systemic allergy to pork or pork products. Vetsulin is contraindicated during periods of hypoglycemia. Keep out of reach of children. As with all insulin products, careful patient monitoring for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia is essential to attain and maintain adequate glycemic control and prevent associated complications. Overdosage can result in profound hypoglycemia and death. The safety and effectiveness of Vetsulin in puppies and kittens, breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs and cats has not been evaluated. See package insert for full information regarding contraindications, warnings, and precautions.

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About Merck Animal Health

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck 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. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit http://www.merck-animal-health.com.

Merck forward-Looking Statement

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck'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; Merck'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 Merck's patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

Merck 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 Merck's 2012 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 (http://www.sec.gov).

  1. Nelson RW. Canine diabetes mellitus. In: Ettinger SJ, Feldmen EC, eds. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders; 2010: 1782-1796.
  2. Reusch C. Feline diabetes mellitus. In: Ettinger SJ, Feldmen EC, eds. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Saunders; 2010: 1796-1816.
  3. Fleeman, Linda; Rand, Jacqueline (2005). Beyond Insulin Therapy: Achieving Optimal Control in Diabetic Dogs". Centre for Companion Animal Health, School of Veterinary Science, the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
  4. Graham PA, Nash AS, McKellar QA. Pharmacokinetics of a porcine insulin zinc suspension in diabetic dogs. J Small Animal Prac. 1997; 38 (10); 434-438.
  5. Data on file, Merck Animal Health.
  6. Vetsulin (porcine insulin suspension) Freedom of Information Summary, Millsboro, DE; Intervet Inc; 2008.



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