About Merck

Today’s Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Center for Observational & Real-world Evidence, Merck Research Laboratories

In our rapidly changing health care environment, payers, physicians and patients are demanding evidence on the value of medical interventions relative to alternatives in “real world settings” to scientifically support medical decision-making. Research groups at Merck involved in observational research and comparative effectiveness research are organized under the Center for Observational and Real-world Evidence (CORE) within the Research & Development division.


Merck Epidemiology provides epidemiologic and outcomes research for all Merck drugs and vaccines. Founded by Dr. Harry Guess in 1985 and currently led by Dr. Nancy Santanello, the mission of the Epidemiology department at Merck is to improve research in the scientific study of disease, endpoints and patient outcomes to evaluate the benefits and risks of our products. Using existing information, database analyses and conducting epidemiology studies across the globe, the Epidemiology Department characterizes disease burden, natural history and molecular epidemiology for new therapeutic areas, assist in clinical trial design based on the epidemiology of the disease, develop and validate patient-reported outcome measures, link biomarkers to outcomes and help understand the safety of our products pre- and post-launch.

Merck Data Analytics & Observational Methods, Center for Observational & Real-world Evidence

Merck Data Analytics & Observational Methods aims to advance the methods, study design and analytic approaches to observational research to support clinical and vaccine development programs throughout the lifecycle of products. As part of that charge, the unit is enhancing internal expertise and creating a continual learning environment in the area of comparative effectiveness research (CER) and its methods, as well as establishing external academic collaborations to develop and evaluate various CER methods. In addition, the group provides analyses and conducts studies in numerous real-world databases of administrative claims and electronic health records to support our products and to enhance the reliability and understanding of research in this space.

Global Health Outcomes and U.S. Outcomes Research

Global Health Outcomes and U.S. Outcomes Research lead efforts in outcomes research to support the medical need for and value of Merck products to provide data and global value dossiers to reimbursement agencies and formulary committees worldwide. These groups conduct studies to characterize disease burden, health care utilization, and generate comparative real-world evidence on our products for payers in the U.S. and health technology assessment agencies globally.



Cynthia J Girman
Distinguished Scientist
Data Analytics & Observational Methods
Center for Observational & Real-world Evidence