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The vision of the Mectizan Donation Program (MDP) is to work with partners to achieve a future free of onchocerciasis (river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (LF or elephantiasis).
The Program was established by Merck to provide medical, technical, and administrative oversight of the donation of its drug Mectizan to control river blindness (also known as onchocerciasis) in Latin America, Africa, and Yemen. Merck’s commitment is “as much as needed, for as long as needed.”
In 1998, Merck expanded the program to include Mectizan for the elimination of lymphatic filariasis (LF – also known as elephantiasis or “big foot disease”) in Yemen and in countries in Africa where river blindness and LF are co-endemic. In 2017, in support of new WHO guidelines, Merck committed an additional 100 million treatments annually, expanding the Program into select countries worldwide where the co-administration of ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine (DEC), and albendazole (IDA or “triple therapy”) will help accelerate elimination of LF in countries where onchocerciasis is not endemic.