Merck & Co., Inc., known outside the United States as Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., recently launched an initiative for a digital-only format for the Merck Manuals. The April 2015 move will be welcome to those seeking access to reliable healthcare information online. After 116 years of providing medical information to healthcare providers and students, the print edition of the Merck Manual has been discontinued. The younger Consumer (home) version of the Manual, aimed at patients and caregivers, is also now available online.
According to a Harris Poll survey conducted by Merck Manuals of more than 2000 people, 79% of respondents believe that having access to the same information as their doctor would improve how they understand their health.
This is clearly a “green” initiative, because the familiar red (Consumer version) and dark green (Professional version) tomes will no longer be reprinted every 5 years. The move will save several thousand pages for each copy every time the Manual is updated. Equally important, moving to an all-digital format will allow for very rapid updating of content, including daily news feeds, and making distinctions among various “editions” will no longer be necessary. As a full service medical communications agency with cutting-edge deliverables, Connexion Healthcare looks forward to be able to access the digital content, which will include multimedia features, such as instructional videos of medical procedures, animations, interactive case studies, and quizzes.
Going digital should be welcomed by advocates of wider and freer dissemination of health-related knowledge, and consumers of this information will now save money. The Professional version of the Merck Manual, which formerly cost approximately $60.00 to $80.00, as well as the Consumer version are now available free of charge, with no requirement for registration and no commercial ads. Websites hosting the Manuals globally will be translated into 9 languages other than English and launched over the next 18 months. A mobile app will appear in 2016 for users of smaller screens.
About Connexion Healthcare
Connexion Healthcare is a full-service global provider of strategic medical and scientific communications with decades of experience providing exceptional service to the pharmaceutical industry. We provide services through 2 Centers of Excellence—Oncology and Rare Disease—and possess core expertise in these therapeutic areas and their marketplaces. We synthesize scientifically complex information and distill it into focused and highly compelling programs. In addition, we develop communication platforms that effectively influence clinical behavior and drive strategic initiatives forward. Our esteemed medical directors and content development team along with an accounts team rooted in science and best practices are poised and ready to support brands anytime from phase 2 development on.
For more information on how Connexion Healthcare can assist you, please contact:
Susan Stein, MPH