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Merck and Premier Inc. Collaborate to Prevent Fractures for Osteoporosis Patients

Companies working alongside providers to develop solutions to serious public health needs

KENILWORTH, N.J. and CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC), a leading healthcare improvement company, have agreed to collaborate on the co-development of solutions to help improve population health. Initially, the companies will focus on reducing fracture rates for at-risk osteoporosis patients.

The collaboration agreement combines expertise and assets from Merck, Premier’s performance improvement framework and analytics, Premier’s alliance of health systems, and other healthcare leaders to jointly develop and test effective solutions to help improve patient care and wellness, and lower healthcare spending.

“This strategic collaboration presents a tremendous opportunity to create solutions that accelerate change in an industry that is addressing preventative care through new patient-centric quality improvement and alternative payment models,” said Michael J. Alkire, COO of Premier. “Together, Premier and Merck will work alongside providers to develop and assess solutions that promote wellness and better care for specific groups of at-risk patients across the continuum, a central goal for all healthcare stakeholders. We are excited to begin this work and look forward to identifying opportunities to apply the insights gleaned from these initiatives.”

Goal to improve care for osteoporosis patients

There are approximately 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, of which about 80 percent are women. People with osteoporosis are at an increased risk of fractures that may impact the quality of life and may lead to hospitalization. In fact, it is estimated that osteoporosis is responsible for two million broken bones and $19 billion in U.S. healthcare costs each year. Despite these consequences, published data suggests that a substantial number of diagnosed patients are not being treated for osteoporosis.

Merck and Premier will work with the National Osteoporosis Foundation to co-develop and test performance improvement solutions, including educational initiatives that are designed to help improve the quality of care for diagnosed untreated patients at risk of osteoporotic fracture. By finding ways to better identify, assess and treat these patients at risk for fractures, this collaboration seeks to reduce the incidence and burden of osteoporotic fractures for both patients and society.

As part of the project, the organizations will work to identify a core set of metrics for osteoporosis care and fracture prevention that align with measures endorsed by the National Quality Forum, as well as other quality measures such as Physician Quality Reporting System measures. The collaboration will integrate Premier’s CECity quality improvement analytics platform, the measure set, as well as interventions for improvement such as virtual collaboration community tools and performance reports, into a cloud-based application to be automated and tested within volunteer Premier member health systems.

“Our organizations are coming together in a unique way through these initiatives, working to address serious healthcare challenges,” said Dr. Julie Gerberding, executive vice president, strategic communications, global public policy and population health at Merck. “Together, Merck and Premier have the knowledge, clinical data, experience and commitment to make a real difference in population health management and bring value to our overall healthcare system.”

Merck and Premier are currently exploring additional population health improvement projects, including an initiative to increase appropriate adult vaccination rates.

The financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

About Merck

For 125 years, Merck has been a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and animal health products, Merck works with customers and operates in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. Merck also demonstrates its commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com, as well as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and 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 companies’ 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 2015 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).

Forward-looking statements of Premier Inc.

Matters discussed in this release that are not statements of historical or current facts, as discussed herein, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Premier to be materially different from historical results or from any future results or projections expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on any forward looking statements. In addition to statements that explicitly describe such risks and uncertainties, readers are urged to consider statements in the conditional or future tenses or that include terms such as “believes,” “belief,” “expects,” “estimates,” “intends,” “anticipates” or “plans” to be uncertain and forward-looking. Forward-looking statements may include comments as to Premier’s beliefs and expectations as to future events and trends affecting its business and are necessarily subject to uncertainties, many of which are outside Premier’s control. More information on potential factors that could affect Premier’s financial results is included from time to time in the “Forward Looking Statements,” “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections of Premier’s periodic and current filings with the SEC and available on Premier’s website at investors.premierinc.com. Forward looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Premier undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise that occur after that date.

About Premier, Inc.

Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC) is a leading healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of approximately 3,900 U.S. hospitals and health systems and approximately 150,000 other providers and organizations. With integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and advisory and other services, Premier enables better care and outcomes at a lower cost. Premier, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient, plays a critical role in the rapidly evolving healthcare industry, collaborating with members to co-develop long-term innovations that reinvent and improve the way care is delivered to patients nationwide. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier is passionate about transforming American healthcare. Please visit Premier’s news and investor sites on www.premierinc.com; as well as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Premier’s blog for more information about the company.

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