National Kidney Foundation Honors Merck with 2017 Corporate Innovator Award

Orlando, FL—April 17, 2017—Merck been selected to receive the 2017 Corporate Innovator Award from the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) at its 26th annual Spring Clinical Meetings held in Orlando, Florida. Merck’s innovative new treatment for hepatitis C, ZEPATIER, is the only direct anti-viral agent specifically tested and approved for use in patients with chronic kidney disease stages 4 and 5.
“Hepatitis C infection is both a cause and complication of chronic kidney disease,” said Kevin Longino, CEO, National Kidney Foundation. “Merck’s innovative new treatment for hepatitis C is an important therapy for kidney patients. The Corporate Innovator Award recognizes Merck’s significant contribution to improving the lives of people with kidney disease and we congratulate them on this achievement.” 
In hepatitis C infected patients with chronic kidney disease, the risks for morbidity and mortality are significantly higher than in those without infection, including progression to cirrhosis, liver cancer and end stage renal disease (ESRD).    
“Although chronic hepatitis C infection is a disease of the liver, it has a well-recognized connection to chronic kidney disease, so it is important for patients with chronic kidney disease to speak with their doctors about getting screened for hepatitis C infection,” said Wayne Greaves, M.D., Executive Director of Clinical Research, Merck. “Merck is honored to be recognized with this award from the National Kidney Foundation.”
The Corporate Innovator Award was established to recognize industry partners that advance the field of nephrology by addressing an unmet medical need, or improving upon an existing practice, therapeutic or technology.  The award will be presented to Merck during the National Kidney Foundation 2017 Spring Clinical Meetings in Orlando, FL from April 18-22, 2017.
For the past 26 years, nephrology healthcare professionals from across the country have come to the NKF Spring Clinical Meetings to learn about the newest developments related to all aspects of nephrology practice, network with colleagues, and present their research findings. The NKF Spring Clinical Meetings are designed for meaningful change in the multidisciplinary healthcare teams’ skills, performance, and patient health outcomes.  It is the only conference of its kind that focuses on translating science into practice for the entire healthcare team.  
Kidney Disease Facts
1 in 3 American adults is at risk for kidney disease.  26 million American adults have kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it.  Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, family history, and age 60+.  People of African American; Hispanic; Native American; Asian; or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease.  African Americans are 3 ½ times more likely, and Hispanics 1 ½ times more likely, to experience kidney failure.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney diseaseFor more information about NKF visit